All over the world every year, people celebrate a romantic day known as Valentine’s day. While the day itself is filled with roses, chocolates, and gifts, the history of the day isn’t quite as romantic as one would believe.
Hard to believe isn’t it? The history behind the word ‘Valentine’ is different and you’re going to know very soon why.
Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February and is all about finding the perfect personalized gifts and heart-shaped cakes for your loved ones.
But looking back at history, the day is a lot darker; filled with tales of massacres and a saint.
What Does the Day Actually Stand For?
In case you didn’t know, Valentine’s Day is always celebrated on the 14th of February.
This decision was taken towards the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared the 14th of February to be celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day.
The day was meant to be a sort of remembrance for the saint, but still became widely celebrated as a romantic holiday.
How Did It Go From St. Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s Day?
Here’s where the confusion begins. Coincidentally, the day that was chosen to be celebrated as ‘St.Valentine’s Day,’ was already a mid-February holiday celebrated by ancient Romans, known as ‘Lupercalia’.
In ancient Rome, the day was meant to celebrate fertility and Romans would often pair men and women together by picking out names from a jar.
Putting two and two together, historians concluded that Valentine’s Day should be a day of love.
Who Actually Was St.Valentine?
Depends on who you ask because there are several stories about the saint.
Some people believe that St. Valentine refused to convert to Paganism, and was then executed. While some say that he was able to heal the daughter of a jailer, who then converted to Christianity.
But the most widely accepted tale that forms a connection between the saint and the romantic holiday is that St. Valentine was a Roman priest. He performed wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were not allowed to marry because of their duties.
This Saint wore a ring with a heart carved on it so that soldiers could easily recognise him.
Why Do We Celebrate It?
All thanks to romantic poems and stories that became popular in the 15th century. This was the century when the term ‘Valentine’ came to be known as the term used to describe lovers in literature.
This went on and by the mid-19th century, Valentine’s Day cards were being mass-produced all over the world on the 14th of February.
Valentine’s Day is different for everyone. Some celebrate it as a religious day, while others celebrate it as a reminder of love.
So, whether you’re going out on a date, or spending the day at home, watching romantic comedies, the day is yours to celebrate and spend however you want to.
Even leaving tiny cards out for your friends and family is a great way to spend the day that is globally recognised as the day of love.