The month of love is here. The big day will be celebrated on February 14th, after a week of love-filled events. Valentine’s Day has a special meaning for those in love, and it is a day when people show their love for their significant other. While most of us celebrate Valentine’s Day with beautiful dinner dates, flowers, and gifts, let’s take a look at where the holiday came from.
Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated in ancient Rome, when the Lupercalia feast was held from February 13 to February 15. On these days, males sacrificed a goat and a dog, while women were lashed with the hides of the sacrificial animals in the hopes of making them fruitful.
A matchmaking lottery would also be held during the celebration. Men would select women’s names from a jar and pair up with them for the duration of the festival, or even longer.
While the Lupercalia feast was a frequent rite, Valentine’s Day was not named until the third century A.D. Saint Valentine, a priest who assisted Christian couples in getting married, had been sentenced to death by Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II was opposed to single men marrying and ordered Saint Valentine’s execution. The execution took place on February 14th. It is also said that while St. Valentine was imprisoned, he looked after the jailor’s blind daughter and even wrote her a card addressed to her as “from your Valentine.”
Pope Gelasius, in the fifth century, banned the pagan Lupercalia customs and united it with St. Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine’s Day celebrations became more romantic after the pagan ceremonies were removed. The festival evolved into a celebration of love and connection. Popular writers like Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare helped to popularize Valentine’s Day by composing romantic love poems.
As a token of affection and thanks, self-made cards were exchanged. The custom survived into the nineteenth century, when the industrial revolution made it possible to mass-produce greeting cards for the occasion. Since then, Valentine’s Day has been marked by the exchange of cards, presents, and flowers to convey love for a loved one.
Celebrations and Significance
Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love. People reveal their feelings to a love interest and express their admiration for them. By spending warmth and affection on each other, couples make each other feel special. As a symbol of beauty and love, traditional presents, wishes, and red roses are given to a significant other. Going on romantic dates and candlelight meals are also part of modern-day celebrations.
The day is also commemorated in various parts of the world by showing affection for friends and family members. Movie evenings, preparing dinners with friends, and throwing a Valentine’s Day party are all popular ways to spend the day.
Valentine’s Day is popular in the United States, as well as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In addition to South Korea, Argentina, the Philippines, France, and Mexico, it is commonly observed in South Korea, Argentina, the Philippines, France, and Mexico.
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