The month of love is swiftly approaching. That’s right, it’s almost February and almost Valentine’s day. Soon the shops will be filled with lovey-dovey decor, and just about everything will be covered in hearts. But have you ever stopped to wonder how it all began? I’ve decided to write a series of articles about Valentine’s day. This first one takes a look at the history of Valentine’s day, how it began, and how it transformed into what we know it to be today. Keep checking back for great Valentine’s gifts for HIM, for HER, and some amazing date ideas.
February has long been celebrated as a month of romance. This day has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Held in February, The festival celebrated the coming of spring, fertility, and the pairing of women and men by means of a lottery-like system. It wasn’t until the end of the 5th century that Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day.
So who is this St. Valentine and what did he do to warrant an entire day named after him? Well, this is where things get a little foggy. The Catholic Church recognizes three different martyred saints named Valentine. However, there is one in particular who stands out as the most probable.
The legend speaks of a priest named Valentine who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II had decided that single men were better soldiers than those with families and wives to look after. Due to this, he outlawed new marriages for young men. Valentine felt that this new law was completely unjustified. He defied Claudius, continuing to perform marriages for young couples in secret. Sadly, when Valentine’s actions came to light, the Emperor ordered that he be put to death. What a romantic but tragic story! Read up on the full history here.
So how do Lupercalia and St. Valentine tie-up? To cut a long story short, Pope Gelasius outlawed the Roman festival, calling it “unchristian.” The 14th of February was now used to commemorate the saint’s death. It wasn’t until many years had passed that this day was again termed to be a day of romance. The first recorded Valentine’s letters only started to appear in the 1400s. Over time, the tradition has spread all over the world and has evolved into the beautiful day of pure capitalism that we know today.
But does this day still hold meaning in the year 2020 and beyond? ABSOLUTELY! This day is very subjective. Some love it and some hate it. But as long as some still love it, it will always hold meaning. Personally, in previous relationships, I was never interested in this day of romance. Yet, in this current relationship that I hope will last forever, we celebrate Valentine’s day every year and I love it!
What are your feelings about the 14th of February? I’d love to know 🙂