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St. Valentine's Day Origins

Worldwide celebrated holiday of showing love and appreciation, Valentine’s Day, falls on February 14th every year. This holiday is filled with hearts and chocolates; however, the origins of this holiday are rather dark. It is still unknown the true beginning of the celebration of Valentine’s day, and there are many different theories regarding this holiday.


The most popular theory is that the origins stem from the ancient pagan holiday called Lupercalia. Similar to the celebration of Valentine’s day, Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February and is dating back to before the Christianity became the common religion in ancient Rome. Lupercalia promoted purification, health and fertility before it got replaced by the St. Valentine’s Day.


The origins of the Saint Valentine also raise some questions among people. Two different people were executed in Rome on February 14th in different years under the Emperor Claudius II.


Some propose that the Saint Valentine is referred to the priest who was arrested for defying laws and rules of the Emperor that prohibited young men from getting married due to the political instabilities and continuous need for soldiers during the many wars. The priest continued to marry young people in secret until his execution by Claudius II.


Others believe that Saint Valentine was an imprisoned priest who fell in love with one of his visitors. In an effort to stay in touch with his loved one, Valentine began writing her letters. He did so up until his execution. His last letter to his lover was signed off with “From your Valentine” - the expression still used today.



Whichever story one may believe in, it is no doubt that both of them were filled with love, sympathy and romanticism. These stories carried on and brought popularity and fame to this holiday which is still greatly celebrated around the world today.



Reference


History.com Authors. “Valentine's Day 2023: Origins, Background & Traditions - History.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2.



By Alina Myakota

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