Valentine’s Day 2023: History, Significance, Quotes, Tradition
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Valentine’s Day, which is all about love, is coming up soon, and people are already looking forward to it. Valentine’s Day is on February 14, 2023, a Tuesday. During these days, people send cards, roses, or chocolates with messages of love to show how much they care about another person or people.
Valentine’s Day is always followed by Valentine’s Week. These actions are seen as a way to show their loved ones how much they care. But Valentine’s Day is not only celebrated on February 14. People celebrate love for a whole week, which is called “Valentine’s Day week.”
Valentine’s Week, also called “Love Week” or “Romance Week,” starts on February 7, which is “Rose Day,” and ends on February 14, which is the most important Valentine’s Day. People celebrate Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, and Kiss Day before Valentine’s Day. And each day is important in its own way. Check out the Valentine’s Week list, schedule, and dates sheet for 2023 to make sure you don’t miss any chances to tell your loved one how you feel.
How did Valentine’s Day Start?
How we celebrate Valentine’s Day now, with love, candy, and flowers, is very different from how it started.
History.com says that Valentine’s Day has its roots in Christianity. In fact, there has been more than one St. Valentine’s day history, and no one knows for sure who the holiday is named after.
One Valentine was a priest in Rome in the third century. When Emperor Claudius II banned young men from getting married, Valentine stood up to him. Valentine would marry young people who were in love behind their parents’ backs. This led to Valentine’s death in the end.
Many people think that St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop who was killed by Emperor Claudius, is the real name of the holiday.
There are many other stories about St. Valentine. One says that he sent the first “valentine” card after falling in love with a young girl who often visited him while he was in jail. Valentine supposedly wrote her a letter before he died that said, “From your Valentine.”
Even though the real story of Valentine’s Day is debated, most tell of the saint as being brave, kind, and romantic.
History and Significance of Valentine’s Day
People who are in love all over the world spend Valentine’s Day with their partners, telling them how much they love them and how special they are.
Since Valentine’s Day has been around since the Roman Empire, people have had plenty of time to make it into the fun holiday it is today. Even though no one knows for sure where Valentine’s Day came from, the most common theory is that it was created to honor St. Valentine, a Roman priest.
The Catholic Church has now recognized at least two different martyred Saint Valentines who are very similar to each other. This makes it hard to figure out the real person who started the holiday. Claudius, the ruler of Rome at the time, killed both Valentines in the third century. Both men were thought to have died on February 14, even though it had been years since their deaths.
Most people think that it is celebrated in memory of Saint Valentine of Terni, who was killed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. He was a priest, and it is said that he secretly married Roman soldiers in the Christian faith and preached Christianity before it was legal.
Because he wouldn’t give up his faith, he was put under house arrest. He fell in love with the jailer’s daughter while he was in jail, and he soon helped her see again. Everyone in the house changed their minds and began to believe in God’s real power.
The news got to the emperor, who said that Valentine would be killed on February 14. On the day he was put to death, he sent a signed note to the jailer’s daughter that said, “From your Valentine.”
Later, when the church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian holiday, they chose to honor St. Valentine’s Day.
In his poem The Parlement of Foules, Geoffrey Chaucer was the first person to link Valentine’s Day to romance. This is another popular reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day.
He thinks that European birds choose their mates on this day because he thinks that’s when people fall in love. Others, like William Shakespeare, did the same and giving handmade cards and tokens as gifts became popular in England.
Why do we Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Even though it used to be a sad day, February 14 is now known as a day for love. In the Middle Ages, people thought that this date marked the beginning of the time of year when birds would start to mate.
Also, the pagan holiday Lupercalia took place on February 15, and the Church wanted to “Christianize” the holiday. This is how St. Valentine came to be. Lupercalia was a Roman fertility festival that honored both Faunus, the god of agriculture and Romulus and Remus, the brothers who founded Rome.
During the festival, priests would sacrifice certain animals to make them fertile and clean, and then they would use rituals to put the blood of the sacrificed animals on women. People thought that those who got the blood would have more children the next year.
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the first poem about Valentine’s Day in 1375. It was called “Parliament of Foules,” and it said, “This was sent on Saint Valentine’s Day when every foul comes there to choose his make.”
By the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers to give each other small gifts or cards on Valentine’s Day. As printing technology got better, printed cards became the most common way for people to show they cared about each other in 1900.
And the well-known and always-popular Hallmark card was made for the first time when Hallmark founder J.C. Hall sold Valentine’s Day postcards in 1910. In 1912, the company started making greeting cards, which didn’t show up in stores until 1916.
Who Was St. Valentine?
In the 3rd century A.D., Emperor Claudius II put to death two priests, both named Valentine, on February 14 of different years.
Even though not much is known for sure about St. Valentine’s life, and it is also not clear if the stories are about two different saints with the same name, one of the St. Valentines was killed and buried on the Via Flaminia to the north of Rome. Archaeologists have found a St. Valentine church and a catacomb from the Roman era.
Why Was Valentine Killed?
The story goes that Emperor Claudius II made it illegal for soldiers to get married. But Valentine didn’t follow the rules and secretly married a young couple to keep the man from going to war. Valentine was locked up, beaten, and killed. Another story says that St. Valentine signed a letter to the blind daughter of the jailer he had befriended and helped by writing “from your Valentine.”
In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius chose February 14 as a day to remember those who died for their faith. This was the first St. Valentine’s Day.
Because there wasn’t enough good information about St. Valentine, the Roman Catholic Church took him off the General Roman Calendar in 1969. The church still thinks of St. Valentine as a saint, though. He is the patron saint of young people, engaged couples, beekeepers, happy marriages, love, and lovers. Birds and roses are used to draw pictures of him, and his feast day is on February 14.
Valentine’s Day Flowers
As a sign of love, red roses seem to be the flower of choice for these loved ones. Or, be different! See what each flower means on our list and find one that fits your loved one.
Or, you could give seeds as a gift! Here is a list of beautiful flowers with romantic names and a list of flowers for “making a romantic garden.”
Valentine’s Day Poetry and Quotes
For the young and young at heart, it’s fun to make Valentine’s Day cards to send anonymously to a neighbor, someone in the nursing home, a good friend, or a family member! Gather up some vintage postcards, colorful paper, feathers, or whatever you have on hand. Put a big “?” on the inside and see if your recipient guesses their “secret admirer.” Or, here’s how to make a homemade card using a potato! (Spud-tacular!)
She Walks into Beauty
By Lord Byron (George Gordon)
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.
One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
By Pablo Neruda
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)I am never without it(anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling).
by John Clare
I ne’er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away completely.
Quotes About Love
With your valentine be cuddled, By a fireplace happily huddled.
–The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 2010
Love does not consist of gazing at each other but of looking together in the same direction.
True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900-44)
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.
–William Shakespeare, English playwright (1564-1616)
Where there is love, there is no darkness.
True love never grows old.
Absence sharpens love; presence strengthens it.