Valentine’s Day: A History

Valentine’s day, a popular holiday even though it’s not a national holiday. This holiday is used as a way to show your love for someone and or appreciation for that person. But the history of Valentine’s Day is not as clear since there are many different histories to this holiday. Valentine’s Day has many stories on how it started.

One of the most popular origins and the one I will be talking about is from a Roman holiday called Lupercalia, which originally was celebrated the coming of spring also included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. The Greeks celebrated the observation of the mid-winter celebration for the marriage of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera. Some historians wonder if these traditions may have influenced the way we now celebrate February 14. These are some origins that most historians believe that this was the history of Valentines’ Day.

Another origin is based on a story of when the Romans had gone to war.  Many of the soldiers wanted to get wedded but the king did not allow them too. The king believed the soldiers would not fight as well. A saint named Valentine went ahead and wed multiple soldiers and was executed days later and so they made a holiday after him. Because of this legend, St. Valentine became known as the patron saint of love. The Saint Valentine prayer asks Saint Valentine to connect lovers together, so that two become one, and the couple remembers their devotion to God.

One final origin is the day that commemorated a martyred saint named, you guessed it, Valentine. Even though legends differ, most celebrate three different saints called Valentine or Valentinus, and very little is known about these men. Another legend says a bishop called Saint Valentine of Terni is the true namesake of the holiday; this Saint Valentine was also executed. By the mid-19th century, mass-produced paper Valentine’s Cards were being created even through many Valentine’s card ideas were still worth trying, and Valentine’s Day then as we know it was born.

In conclusion, Valentine’s Day’s history is not a simple concept. So next time you think of Valentine’s Day think of the effort people put in for love.

By: Jacob Brown

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