The History of Valentine’s Day


The Apopka Voice

Love or hate Valentine’s Day, it all had to start somewhere. Some link Valentine’s Day’s origins all the way back to Rome as a mid- February holiday. This holiday, called Lupercalia, was made before St. Valentines and celebrated fertility. As a ritual, they would put men and women’s names into a jar and pair them together when they pulled their names. The Ancient Greeks had a mid-winter holiday to celebrate the god Zeus and goddess Hera’s marriage. 

Saint Valentines is a legend, famous for inspiring the iconic holiday. One Valentine’s Day legend said that Roman Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than men with a family. He made marriage illegal, but Saint Valentine would secretly go about and wed people because he knew the injustice in the new founded law. Claudius found out about these secret weddings and put Valentine to death by beheading. 

Another story shows Valentine as a rescuer, saving Christans from harsh Roman prisons, where they were beaten and tortured. Valentine was supposedly in love with the daughter of the jailer, who would visit him during his confinement. He was the first to give a Valentine to someone, making it a household tradition to give cards and treats to people during Valentine’s Day. On the letter that he gave her right before he was executed, it was said “from your Valentine” which is still used today. 

All the stories about the legend Saint Valentine are very murky. Although we don’t know the truth about this Saint, all of the stories show the same characteristics. Saint was sympathetic, heroic and of course a romantic. We can all agree that Saint Valentine embodied these traits, even if you hate Valentine’s Day.

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