History of Your Favorite Holiday – Valentine’s Day
We are all fascinated by this holiday. It is another opportunity for couples in love to demonstrate their feelings to each other. Even lonely people celebrate Valentine’s Day hoping to find their life-long partners. On this day, love signs are everywhere, but do you know the roots of the holiday? Learn more about your favorite holiday further in the post.
Valentine’s Day history is vague and surrounded by different fantastic legends. The origins of the holiday come from the Roman festival of Lupercalia that was an annual celebration of fertility commemorated on February 15. Later, Pope Gelasius I altered this ancient holiday as a Christian festival circa 496, announcing February 14 to become St. Valentine’s Day as we know it today.
It remains a mystery which Valentine was actually honored by the holiday. At those times, there were three Christian saints who had this name. The first one was a bishop in Terni, the second one was a Roman priest, and the third one’s biography is unknown, except the fact that he died in Africa. Surprisingly, according to the historical records, these three Valentines were martyred on February 14.
Many researchers claim that St. Valentine of the holiday was a Roman priest who fell into disgrace of Claudius II, the Roman emperor, around 270. According to one famous legend, Claudius II forbade marriage for young men so that they made better soldiers. Despite the prohibition, St. Valentine continued to hold marriage ceremonies and was finally apprehended and put to death. The other tale says that when St. Valentine was imprisoned by Claudius II, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Before his execution, St. Valentine sent his beloved a letter signed “from your Valentine.”
In 1969, the Catholic Church reviewed the liturgical calendar and eliminated the holidays devoted to the saints with questionable historic origins. As a result, St. Valentine also appeared in the list of casualties.
Geoffrey Chaucer's Love Birds
By the 14th century, the holiday had not directly been associated with love and romance. According to the research conducted by Henry Ansgar Kelly, a medieval scientist, Geoffrey Chaucer was the first person who connected St. Valentine’s Day with love. In 1381, Chaucer created a poem that praised the engagement between Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. Following the poetic tradition, the poet linked the event to the feast day. Thus, in the poem The Parliament of Fowls, St. Valentine’s Day, the mating season of birds and royal engagement are connected.
Valentine’s Cards Tradition
Since the 18th century, exchanging the love cards and gift-giving have become popular in England. Later on, the trend of celebrating the holiday of love spread all over the world, and the tradition of Valentine’s cards remains a commercial success.
Tell the history of the holiday to your beloved and make this Valentine’s Day special to both of you!