Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? The history behind Valentine’s Day?

Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? The history behind Valentine’s Day?

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Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love, but its history is not as lovely as you might think. Do you know the origins of this special day? In this article I came with the history of Valentine’s Day that could surprise you and you can get a note here of when Valentine’s Day 2024 is so you can prepare yourself to celebrate the day with love.

When is Valentine’s Day?

Let’s start with the basics: Valentine’s Day is always on February 14. That means Valentine’s Day 2024 will be on a Wednesday.

Back in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius named February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day, and ever since, people have been celebrating on that date—although it was more about faith than love back then

Early History of Valentine’s Day

The Story Behind Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. There are many legends about him, but one thing is certain: he valued love above all.

In his time, many Romans were becoming Christians, but the Emperor Claudius II was against it. He made harsh laws to stop Christians from practicing their faith. He also thought that Roman soldiers should only serve Rome and not have families. So, he banned them from getting married. St Valentine defied this law and secretly married these soldiers in Christian ceremonies. This was how he became known as a champion of love.

But his actions did not go unnoticed. He was caught and thrown in jail for disobeying Claudius. There, he befriended his fellow prisoners and the jailor’s blind daughter. Some say that he healed her eyesight and that he wrote her a note before he died, signing it ‘from your Valentine’. He was executed on 14 February in the year 270.

How did Valentine's Day develop?

It took more than 200 years for 14 February to become St Valentine’s Day. By then, Rome had embraced Christianity and the Catholic Church wanted to get rid of any pagan influences. There was a pagan festival in February that celebrated fertility and the Church replaced it with St Valentine’s Day, making it a holy day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.

The poet Chaucer in the Middle Ages was the first to connect St Valentine with romantic love. He started a trend of courtly love, a way of showing love and respect, often in secret. This tradition spread across Europe and people began to tell stories about a High Court of Love where women judges would decide on matters of the heart on 14 February each year. Historians think that these were actually gatherings where people enjoyed reading love poems and flirting with each other.

How do people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day nowadays? 

Valentine’s Day is a global celebration, but different cultures have their own ways of honoring it. In some parts of the world, Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, but for family and friends too. Some traditions involve giving candies and presents to children and showing appreciation to friends.

Valentine’s Day is mostly linked to romantic love, with countless Valentine’s Day cards being sent every year. People also give flowers or a single red rose with sweet messages to their partners and spend quality time together.

Many couples like to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special meal, whether it’s at a restaurant, a picnic, or at home. Food is often decorated with symbols of love like hearts and flowers. Another common Valentine’s Day activity is to stay in a scenic place, where a couple can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Valentine’s Day is also a popular time for marriage proposals, and some people go the extra mile to make them unique, such as by scaling a mountain, or displaying a sign on a billboard. No matter how they do it, marriage proposals on Valentine’s Day are usually romantic and unforgettable.

The Meaning of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has gone through many changes over time. It started as a religious feast, then became a pagan festival, and now it’s a popular holiday. That means you can decide what Valentine’s Day means to you: You can ignore it altogether, treat yourself to some sweets or blooms, or show your love and gratitude for the people you care about, whether they’re your colleagues, your lovers, your friends, or your family.

Is Valentine’s Day a holiday?

Many people enjoy Valentine’s Day in their own ways, but it’s not a religious holiday anymore and sadly for all the lovers out there, it’s not a public holiday or a day off either but you can always take a break for a special day with your sweetheart.

The Reason behind giving flowers on Valentine’s Day

Flowers are the perfect way to express love, especially those that have a special meaning, such as the long-stemmed red rose. In the language of flowers, roses stand for the Greek Goddess of Love, and they are a sign of passion and attraction. Giving them to someone is a gesture of love, especially on Valentine’s Day and they are also very beautiful.

Flowers have always been a favorite gift to show love, with Australians spending about $110 million on them in the last year alone, and the most busy days for florists being Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Facts About Valentine’s Day 

  • Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd century. He secretly married soldiers who were forbidden to wed by the emperor, and was executed on February 14.
  • The first Valentine’s Day card was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415. He wrote it while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt.
  • In the Victorian era, people sent “vinegar valentines” to reject unwanted admirers. These cards were rude and insulting, and sometimes even targeted suffragettes.
  • Every year, thousands of people send letters to Juliet, the heroine of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, in Verona, Italy. A group of volunteers called the Juliet Club replies to each letter with advice and consolation.
  • The tradition of giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day started in the 19th century, when Richard Cadbury, a British chocolatier, created fancy boxes to sell his chocolates.
  • The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was made by Richard Cadbury in 1861. He decorated the boxes with his own art of cupids and roses, and they could also be reused as mementos.

Ideas to Celebrate the Day

  • If you and your partner love books, you can visit your local bookstore and pick out a book for each other. You can also read some romantic passages to each other later.
  • If you want to stay in and watch a movie, you can make some popcorn, snacks, and wine, and cuddle under a blanket. You can also decorate your space with some paper hearts, flowers, and candles.
  • If you enjoy cooking, you can have a pizza-making competition and see who can make the best pizza. You can also try different toppings, sauces, and cheeses. You can then enjoy your pizzas together and vote for the winner.
  • If you want to do something creative, you can paint and sip with your friends. You can either join an online class or set up your own painting station at home. You can also drink some wine and chat with your friends while creating your masterpieces.

How to celebrate the its totally depends on you, you can also spend the day with your friends or with your family it’s totally up to you. 

Valentine’s Day is more than just a day of chocolates, flowers, and cards. It has a rich and varied history that spans centuries and cultures. From the brave Saint Valentine to the poetic Chaucer, from the pagan festival to the Christian feast, from the vinegar valentines to the heart-shaped boxes, Valentine’s Day has evolved and adapted over time. Today, it is a global celebration of love in all its forms. Whether you choose to celebrate it or not, Valentine’s Day is a reminder of the power and beauty of love.

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