It turns out Valentine’s Day has one heck of an interesting origin story, dating back to 270 A.D. and the legend of Saint Valentine.
Who is Saint Valentine, and what is his story? Read on as we provide you with the Dark History of Valentine’s Day.
Who Invented Valentine’s Day?
To answer this, we need to look back through history.
During the reign of Emperor Claudius II (around 200 A.D.), Saint Valentine was a practicing Catholic priest who acted against the rule of his emperor.
If the legends are true, Saint Valentine was once a savior among men who showed incredible bravery in the face of Roman injustice.
Claudius II believed single men were more valuable as soldiers than husbands, so he decided to outlaw marriage for young men.
Despite this ruling, Saint Valentine continued to conduct marriage ceremonies in secret.
The Romans eventually got wise to what Saint Valentine was doing. They put him to death as punishment for defying his emperor’s commands.
Executions and betrayals - who knew the history of Valentine’s Day would be so gruesome?
Why Is Valentine’s Day on February 14th?
There are many possible reasons for this - ranging from the date of Saint Valentine’s execution to ancient Pagan festivals.
Lupercalia was a festival of fertility celebrated by the Pagans on February 15th. Long story short, this festival involved sacrificing animals to bring forth good health and childbirth in the year to come.
Christianity eventually outlawed this festival and replaced it with what we now know as Valentine’s Day on February 14th.
Why Is Valentine’s Day Celebrated As Love?
People believed that February 14th was the start of birds’ mating season in the Middle Ages. In England and France, this caused many people to associate this date with romance.
Written Valentine’s Day greetings soon became popular. Around the 15th Century, lovers began to exchange notes of affection and express their devotion through grand gestures.
Who Is The God Of Valentine’s Day?
Cupid is widely recognized as a symbol of Valentine’s Day.
You know the old saying - ‘struck by Cupid’s arrow.’ Well, it turns out this saying might be older than you think.
Cupid, who is usually portrayed as an infant angel (or Cherub), originates from the old religion of Rome.
Cupid was said to be the son of Mercury (messenger for the gods) and Venus (Goddess of Love). He is fabled to be the messenger of love - taking on the godly roles of both of his parents.
How Is Valentine’s Day Celebrated Now?
Around the 18th Century, Valentine’s Day became even more popular and was eventually recognized as the day couples could express their feelings with gifts and gestures of devotion.
It all started with written notes. Before the 1900s, high-quality cards were difficult to come by due to the lack of printing technology.
Once printing technology improved and occasion cards became more widely available to the general public, men and women across the world began to write their feelings in beautifully decorated cards as a show of affection.
Even in the age of emails, SMS, and digital media - the handwritten card has survived as one of society’s oldest romantic traditions throughout the history of Valentine’s Day.
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