Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites. It fills me with spectacular thoughts of flowers and chocolate. Mmm! Especially chocolate. But from where did Valentine’s originate and how is it meant for the purposes of today’s time… romance?
I did some digging and this is what I found:
During the 3rdcentury, Roman Emperor Claudius II had decided to outlaw marriage because he thought single men would make better soldiers for his army. St Valentine went behind his back and continued to marry couples and when Claudius II found out, he ordered him to be put to death.
Another “Valentine” who defied Claudius II was a bishop in the Roman church. He helped prisoner’s escape Rome after they’d been given unreasonable and harsh punishments by the Emperor (Claudius II). He was ordered to be beheaded.
It was during the 5thcentury AD that Roman’s celebrated the Lupercalia Festival in the middle of February every year. The festival was to celebrate three things – 1) the coming of Spring, 2) fertility rites and ceremonies, and 3) men and women were often paired off by a lottery for the purposes of matrimony.
The name was changed to Valentine’s Day near the end of the 5th century by Pope Gelasiusin honor of the patron saint, Valentine (which one?). Although, it’s not clear as to which Saint the day was named for as both men had been martyred, history does show that no matter which saint, the 14this to commemorate the death of these men. Hence the name, Valentine’s Day.
Valentine greetings and salutations can be accounted for as far back as the Middle Ages, but the first written greeting happened in the 15th century by Charles, Duke of Orleans. He sent one to his wife. And would you believe, King Henry V had one written for his wife, Catherine of Valios?
Cupid, or Eros, is used in celebrations as he points his love-filled arrows at unsuspecting lovers. Flowers are given because of the Lupercalia Festive as it does celebrate the upcoming Spring season (and fertility). As for chocolate? Who cares, just give me the box and I’ll be happy!
These historical events set the traditions that we have for today. Children pass out their mini-greeting cards and candy, lovers make special dinner dates with each other, flowers are sent, marriage proposals and engagement rings given. In fact, Valentine’sDay is the second most popular day to get engaged, or married on… second to Christmas Day.
Most florist report they sell more flowers and arrangements on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year. Candy stores sell a lot, too, but I believe I read somewhere that Easter shadows Valentine’s Day… that silly rabbit.
So in summation of my own history lesson, it is a historical event. I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and loving day. Don’t forget to hug everyone you see, kiss everyone you love, wish them well and please, remember to tell everyone dear to you that you love them. It’s always a soothing and comforting thing to hear: “I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day.”