The 14th of February is Valentine’s Day. Candy, flowers, and presents are shared between loved ones across the United States and around the world on Valentine’s Day; all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this enigmatic saint, and where did these customs originate? Learn about the history of Valentine’s Day, from the ancient Roman springtime festival of Lupercalia to Victorian England’s card-giving habits.
What exactly is the significance of Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day has been a religious holiday, an ancient ritual day, and a commercial holiday over the years (and centuries). Because of all of these changes, the meaning of Valentine’s Day can be whatever you want it to be; you can skip the festivities entirely, buy yourself some chocolate or flowers, or express your love; appreciation for the people in your life, whether they’re coworkers, romantic partners, friends, or family members.
Some people adore Valentine’s Day, while others despise it; Valentine’s Day is a relatively new manner of commemorating women’s love for their closest friends. So, whichever you choose to commemorate Valentine’s Day, even if it’s only through self-love, do so. A romantic supper out, a trip to the movies, preparing a special meal at home; or throwing Valentine’s Day party are all excellent ways to commemorate the day.
Valentine’s Day History
The history of Valentine’s Day—and the story of its patron saint—is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he come to be connected with such a sacrament?
Valentine, according to mythology, was a priest who served in Rome around the third century. Emperor Claudius II forbade marriage for young men because he believed; that lone men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. Valentine disobeyed Claudius and continued to execute covert marriages for young couples, despite the decree’s injustice. Claudius ordered Valentine’s execution after his acts were exposed. Others, however, believe that the genuine namesake of the event is Bishop Saint Valentine of Terni. Claudius II also beheaded him outside of Rome.
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According to mythology, an imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting to himself after falling in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement—possibly his jailor’s daughter.
He is said to have written her a letter inscribed “From your Valentine” before his death, an idiom that is still used today. Although the truth underlying the Valentine legends is hazy, all the stories underscore Valentine’s attractiveness as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, amorous person. Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France by the Middle Ages, maybe as a result of his reputation.
Why is Valentine’s Day Celebrated
Chaucer lived during the Middle Ages, the era of courtly love when broad, romantic statements of devotion—poems, songs, paintings—celebrated partnership. By the end of the 15th century, the word “valentine” was being used to describe a lover in poems and songs of the day, and in the 18th century, a book called The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was published in England.
Valentine’s Day as we know it began in the mid-nineteenth century when mass-produced paper Valentine’s Cards were introduced (but DIY Valentine card ideas are still worth trying). The reality about its history is that the romantic holiday has seen its fair share of sorrow. In Prohibition Chicago in 1929, seven men were killed by a gang organized by Al Capone on February 14.
The Valentine’s Day Massacre constituted a turning point in Prohibition history, with police and legislators pursuing gangs and mobs that had formed in cities to control then-illegal substances like alcohol.
Valentine’s Day Traditions
While modern Anglo-American practices connecting the day with romantic love have marginalized European folk traditions associated with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine’s Day, there are still some links connecting the saint with the arrival of spring.
Valentine’s Day associates with distinct regional rituals in England, despite the fact that the tradition of sending cards, flowers, chocolates, and other presents originated in the United Kingdom. In Norfolk, a guy known as ‘Jack’ Valentine knocks on people’s back doors and leaves sweets and gifts for the kids. Despite the fact that he was leaving treats, many children were terrified of this supernatural figure.
Saint Valentine, or Zdravko, was a patron saint of beekeepers and pilgrims in Slovenia. He was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health, and the patron saint of beekeepers and pilgrims. “Saint Valentine provides the keys of roots,” according to a proverb. On this day, plants and flowers begin to bloom.
On that day, it is also stated that birds propose to each other or marry. Another adage states, “Valentin – prvi spomladin” (“Valentin – the first spring saint”), because Saint Valentine heralds the start of spring in several locations (particularly White Carniola). The traditional date for Valentine’s Day was March 12th, Saint Gregory’s Day, or February 22nd, Saint Vincent’s Day. Saint Anthony was the patron saint of love, and his feast day was June 13th.
Spiritual Meaning of Valentine’s Day
The finest approach to commemorate Valentine’s Day is to recall God’s love. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son…’ says the Bible. It’s a season of generosity. Unfortunately, it has devolved into a promiscuous affair. However, it should be a day of giving because Valentine’s Day originated with a priest who demonstrated genuine love for humanity. Valentine reminds us of God’s gift to humanity and of God’s pure love in our hearts. That we must love in the same way that God loves. God loves unconditionally and sacrificially, and He will continue to love until the end of time. There are no strings linked to his kind of love.
Because that is the seed God has put in us, a Christian should love anybody, regardless of their background or attitude. That is what we are instilling in our people during the Valentine’s Day season. We’re using this time to bring our people together and educate them on how to love one another authentically. We are bringing together vulnerable individuals, particularly youngsters, to educate them how to love really as God does. You should start by showing folks the original version of anything if you want to denounce it. We want to teach genuine love to teenagers and youth.
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“I give you one and take two from you,” is the kind of love that is practiced in today’s world. When people around the world show you, love, they expect you to reciprocate. But we should love unreservedly because God has shown us how to love our fellow humans in the finest way possible. We are actually sowing seed when we do this. If we can engage the youths with this perspective, I believe they will be more focused and less likely to participate in the current wickedness. We’re also working on something for couples, although they’re not the most vulnerable when it comes to Valentine’s Day.
When is Valentine’s Day
It wasn’t until more than 200 years later that 14 February was proclaimed St Valentine’s Day. By this time, Rome had converted to Christianity, and the Catholic Church was on a mission to eradicate any lingering pagan practices. Every year in February, the Pope outlawed a pagan fertility ritual and declared 14 February Saint Valentine’s Day, thereby establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
In the Middle Ages, the poet Chaucer was the first to associate St Valentine with romantic love. This was the start of the courtly love tradition, a secretive ritual of expressing love and appreciation. This tradition extended throughout Europe, and legends arose about a High Court of Love, where female justices would rule on love-related issues on February 14th of each year. Historians believe that these events were actually get-togethers when people read love poetry and played flirting games.
Whether you adore or despise Valentine’s Day, one thing is certain: it has a long history. While Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with kissing, Valentine’s Day gifts, and difficult-to-get dinner reservations, the holiday’s beginnings are far less romantic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Valentine's Day banned?
In Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and, curiously, in Russia’s Belgorod district, where officials prohibited it for “going against Russian cultural values,” lovers must celebrate it behind closed doors.
When was the first Valentine's Day?
February 14, 496 AD (Rome)
Valentine’s Day/Date of the first occurrence