The History of Valentine’s Day and Why We Celebrate - Fast&Up

The History of Valentine’s Day and Why We Celebrate

History of Valentine’s Day

Despite numerous stories throughout history, few people are aware of the genuine origins of Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th, a celebration day of St. Valentine, who was martyred in the third century A.D. However, during the time of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus, several men known as St. Valentine were put to death. During a period when Christians were frequently persecuted, the number of religious martyrs increased. The Catholic Church commemorates St. Valentine's religious heroism with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

According to ancient legends and popular media, St. Valentine was covertly marrying couples to keep young men from going to battle. Other legends claim that while imprisoned, St. Valentine fell in love with the blind girl he had healed and wrote her the first valentine. He is said to have written her a letter inscribed "From your Valentine" before his death, a term that is still used today. These myths, however, are based on no historical facts.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is thought to have begun on February 14th as an attempt to 'Christianize' the pagan festival Lupercalia. The Lupercalia festival, which took place from the 13th to the 15th of February, is the polar opposite of Valentine's Day. The festival was a brutal and violent affair, with goat sacrifices and random couplings of humans in an attempt to drive off evil spirits. Pope Gelasius pronounced the event 'un-Christian,' and the 14th of February was designated as St. Valentine's Day, a day dedicated to honouring Saint Valentine.

During bird-mating season, European aristocrats began writing love letters. Ophelia, Shakespeare's love, called herself Hamlet's Valentine not long after. The romanticism of the holiday in Chaucer and Shakespeare's works quickly gained favour in Britain and the rest of Europe. Following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt, Charles Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Even King Henry V engaged a writer to write a valentine's note for Catherine of Valois, causing the day to be connected with love-letter writing.

Valentine's Day 2022

So, how did we end up celebrating Valentine's Day with flowers, chocolates, and love messages when it all started so hauntingly?

As previously said, the middle of February has long been associated with fertility festival celebrations, so it's no surprise that romance is associated with the occasion. Whether or not Chaucer and Shakespeare deserve entire credit, they certainly popularised the existing connections with the day. People still give flowers on special occasions or to convey their love and admiration today. Chocolates, candy hearts, and cards are some of the more modern Valentine's Day symbols, in addition to flowers.

To know more about gifting good health this Valentine's Day visit,

Udit Sheth

-Expert and Writer

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