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Valentine’s Day: History, fun things to do, everything you need to know

Valentine’s Day 2023: Whatever your feelings on Valentine’s Day, one thing is certain: the holiday has a long history. And even though Valentine’s Day is today associated with kissing, gifts, and difficult-to-get dinner reservations, its early traditions were much less romantic. This Valentine’s Day history, which includes a saint, a massacre, and even the naughty nuns […]

Edited By : Sakshi | Updated: Jan 28, 2023 12:03 IST
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Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day 2023: Whatever your feelings on Valentine’s Day, one thing is certain: the holiday has a long history. And even though Valentine’s Day is today associated with kissing, gifts, and difficult-to-get dinner reservations, its early traditions were much less romantic. This Valentine’s Day history, which includes a saint, a massacre, and even the naughty nuns of Valentine’s Day (really! ), wouldn’t work as a romantic comedy.

When is Valentine’s Day?

First, a short reminder that February 14 is always the date of Valentine’s Day. This day is falling on Monday, February 14. (For anyone wishing to make significant preparations). 

February 14 has been a holiday since Pope Gelasius proclaimed it Saint Valentine’s Day at the end of the fifth century, though it was often more ecclesiastical than amorous.

How did Valentine’s Day start?

Valentine’s Day is a set date on the calendar that was combined with Lupercalia, a mid-February holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, which some historians say is how this day came to be associated with love. During the festival of Lupercalia, men and women may pair off in a rite by selecting names from a jar. The union of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera was celebrated in the middle of winter in ancient Greece.

Why is this day celebrated on February 14th?

Generally speaking, early Christians chose to observe holidays on dates that fell close to other festivals and celebrations (such as Christmas and the winter solstice), hence they chose to observe Valentine’s Day on February 14 and Lupercalia on February 15.

Who was Saint Valentine? 

It turns out, not much. Around 500 AD, the Catholic Church added St. Valentine’s Day as a feast day to its liturgical calendar. You guessed it—Valentine—named martyred saints were honoured on this day. Three separate saints known as Valentine or Valentinus are commemorated in various traditions, but because so little is known about them and because the St. Valentine’s Day narrative has been reported in numerous ways, the feast day was dropped from the Christian liturgical calendar in 1969.

The legend of Saint Valentine has been told numerous times, even though nothing is known about the actual history of the saint on whom the feast is founded. According to a tale, Saint Valentine was put to death by Roman Emperor Claudius II because he refused to accept paganism. The daughter of his jailer was miraculously healed by him before his execution, and both she and the whole of his family afterwards embraced Christianity. According to a different tradition, the feast is named after a bishop by the name of Saint Valentine of Terni, who was also put to death.

Also read:- Valentine’s Day: Check out 10 Romantic Marriage Proposal Ideas That’ll Make Any Girl Say ”Yes”

Others, however, claim that Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who officiated weddings for soldiers who were forbidden from getting married because a Roman emperor’s decree stated that married soldiers did not make good warriors, and thus young men could not get married. This is how Saint Valentine came to be associated with a love-centred holiday. A Cupid-adorned ring that this Saint Valentine wore—a representation of love—helped soldiers identify him. He also distributed paper hearts to remind Christians of their love for God in an early form of greeting cards.

Saint Valentine gained notoriety as the patron saint of love as a result of this myth. In the Saint Valentine prayer, couples are urged to unite so that they can remember their devotion to God and become one.

While Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem, published in 1381, is regarded by historians as the source of the “modern” celebration of Valentine’s Day, where we honour our romantic relationships with one another, Saint Valentine’s Day’s origin story laid the foundation for the day’s establishment as a holiday for romantic love.

What are some fun things to do for this Day?

Even just practising self-love can be a way to celebrate the day of love. Some concepts that could motivate you are:

• Set up a dinner

• Romantic movie

• Make a dessert

• Organize a celebration

• Create Valentine’s crafts

Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Chaucer lived in the Middle Ages, a time of courtly love when poems, music, and paintings honoured a couple’s union in sweeping, lyrical declarations of adoration. The term “valentine” was first used to refer to a lover in poetry and music towards the end of the 15th century, and an English book titled ”The Young Man’s” Valentine Writer was produced in the 18th century. This day as we know it now began in the middle of the 19th century when mass-produced paper Valentine’s Cards were invented (but DIY Valentine card ideas are still worthwhile to try).

The truth about Valentine’s Day’s past is that tragedies have still happened on this day of romance. On February 14, 1929, seven men were murdered in Chicago during Prohibition by a gang commanded by Al Capone. With police and lawmakers going after the gangs and mobs that had formed in cities to control then-illegal substances like alcohol, the Valentine’s Day Massacre constituted a turning point in Prohibition history.

Also read:- 10 Most Romantic Places to visit in India for Valentine’s Day Celebration

First published on: Jan 28, 2023 12:03 PM IST
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