The History of Valentines Day

The History of Valentines Day

Nika Aydin

Around any holiday people start wondering about its origin; Valentine’s day has a fairly interesting one. The holiday filled with boxed chocolates, pretty flowers, red hearts, love letters, romantic dinners, and cheesy cards has developed tremendously over the centuries.

The first Valentine’s ever was in the year 496. It is thought to have originated from a Roman festival. In mid-February, the Romans had a festival called Lupercalia which was to recognize the start of spring. It was believed that boys picked girls’ names out of a box and they would go on a date during the festival. Sometimes the relationships would be such a perfect match that the couple would arrive at the conclusion of marriage.

Many years later the church wanted to turn the festival into a Christian celebration and used that occasion to remember St. Valentine. St. Valentine’s name became a way for people, in the old days, to express their love for someone. St. Valentine was believed to be a priest from Rome in the third century AD. There was an emperor named Emperor Claudius II who believed that married men were bad soldiers, so he banned marriage. St. Valentine did not agree with Emperor Claudius II and felt it was unfair for people, so he married couples in secret. When Claudius found out that St. Valentine broke the rules, he sent him to jail and sentenced him to death. While Valentine was in jail he fell in love with the jail keeper’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14th he sent her a love letter signed, “from your Valentine”. This phrase is now one of the symbols of Valentine’s day.

In response to the summary of the history of Valentine’s day, sophomore Ava Manly said, “I think that this is such a cool holiday! I did not realize that it has a real background, I thought someone just made it so they could make a lot of money off of people buying flowers and chocolate for their partners. I like the love story between the jail keepers daughter and St. Valentine. I think it’s really cute and I find it interesting that the way St. Valentine signed his name is like a classic phrase that people use now to signify Valentine’s day.”

Over the centuries, Valentine’s day still held onto its traditional roots of love, but now has developed into a major holiday full of gifts and romance that is celebrated around the world.