What are Valentine’s Day origins? Valentine’s Day, the Western holiday of love, is observed on February 14th each year. Valentine’s Day is celebrated by lovers all over the world on this day. This holiday, during which approximately 150 million greeting cards are sent, is considered the second most popular holiday after Christmas.
Lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Most of us participate in traditional holiday activities such as exchanging cards and giving flowers, but have you ever wondered where all of this came from? Valentine’s Day’s origins date back thousands of years and would make fans of the Fifty Shades of Grey series blush.
Even today, Valentine’s Day origins, this romantic holiday are unknown; all that remains are the legends that mysteriously surround this day and have St. Valentine at their center. The date of February 14 was the first mentioned in the year 498, when Pope Gelasius I appointed three saints, the date of their celebration being this day.
Valentine’s Day Origins
However, the holiday is still associated with the name of St. Valentine, who was imprisoned in Rome for secretly officiating marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to do so. He allegedly healed his guardian’s daughter, Asterius, while imprisoned. As a sign of goodbye, he appears to have sent her a letter signed “your Valentine” before the execution.
During the month of February, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia. A goat dog was sacrificed and skinned, and the hides were used to whip the women in attendance. Women would also form a line to be slapped by men. The women were thought to become fertile as a result of the violence. At the end of the festival, men would draw girls’ names from a jar and pair them up for the year. The alcohol flowed freely.
Valentine’s Day Origins – Legends and Facts
Other legends claim that this day is celebrated in early February because the Roman holiday Lupercalia occurred during this time period. The event, which took place around February 15, honored fertility, Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as Romulus and Remus, Rome’s founders.
Cupid, the son of Venus, is the god of love, and his image is associated with Valentine’s Day, according to another legend. Jupiter wanted to kill Cupid as soon as he was born, but his mother, Venus, hid him in the forest, where he learned to use the bow on animals before using it to bind the fate of humans.
Originally, the holiday commemorating couples’ love was actually a holiday commemorating singles’ love. This was a day for young girls to hide in their village’s dark alleys, hoping to be discovered by single men. The next step was to marry.
The first instances of February 14 became a day of love are documented in the 14th century when the first love writings appeared. Word-of-mouth “valentines” were very popular in the Middle Ages, but handwritten “valentines” appeared after 1400. The oldest surviving letter of this type is a poem written in 1415 to his wife by Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London after being captured in the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt. According to www.history.com, the greeting card is part of a manuscript collection in the British Library in London. A few years later, King Henry V appears to have commissioned a poet named John Lydgate to write a greeting card for Catherine de Valois.
On Valentine’s Day in the Middle Ages, both boys and girls drew a name from a bowl and had to wear it on their sleeves for the next week.
Christians and Valentine’s Day
When Christianity became institutionalized, leaders attempted to conceal pagan rituals, as they did with Christmas. The name “Valentine’s Day” is derived from a legend about a priest who married Christian couples in violation of Roman law, but there are several St. Valentine’s.
According to one legend, Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel, imprisoned Valentine and attempted to convert him to paganism. Valentine refused and was executed as a result. Another story about Claudius and a priest named Valentine claims that Valentine performed secret marriages after Claudius made it illegal because he believed that married men were not good soldiers. When Valentine was apprehended, he made friends with a jailer’s daughter and sent her a note signed “From your Valentine.” Valentine actually fell in love with the girl in some versions of the story.
All of these different Valentines merged into the Christian version of a day of renewal and springtime; it took centuries for it to become a day for couples. “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day when every bird cometh there to choose his mate,” wrote Geoffrey Chaucer in one of the first poems to connect Valentine’s Day for romantic couples.
Shakespeare carried on the tradition, and Valentine’s Day became a day for sending cards and gifts to loved ones. Postage stamps became prohibitively expensive, but people continued to send cards. 60,000 cards were sent in 1835. When postage rates were reduced following a reform in 1940, that figure skyrocketed.
The modern Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day did not become “official” in the United States until 1847. Esther Howland dubbed the “Mother of the American Valentine,” brought lace and paper from England. She is credited with inventions such as the opening card. Hallmark issued its first Valentine’s Day card in 1913. Since then, approximately 131 million cards have been sold each year, with women accounting for roughly 80% of that total.
It is unknown how the custom evolved over time, but modern tradition emerged especially in the United States when Americans began sending handwritten “valentines” in the early 1700s. appeared in the late 1800s, and the person who came up with this idea was Richard Cadbury, son of famous chocolate maker John Cadbury.
In addition, since February 14, more than 1,000 letters have been sent to Juliet’s house in Verona, Italy, to Juliet Capulet, the famous heroine of Shakespearean opera.
Valentine’s Day has received numerous impressive gifts over the years. Diane de Poitiers, for example, received the royal property of Chenonceau from Henry II in 1557. In 1631, Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died shortly after giving birth to her 14th child.
At the same time, Valentine’s Day is when over 220,000 people choose to marry their loved ones each year.
Valentine’s Day customs
Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world under various names, but also on other days, demonstrating the uniqueness of each country. This famous day is known as the Day of Love and Friendship in Latin America. It is observed in Brazil on June 12, the day before St. Anthony, the patron saint of marriage.
This day has become extremely popular in Asia, spawning new traditions in China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore, where chocolate is the most popular gift.
Every year, Americans spend more money on Valentine’s Day. Spending totaled $19.7 billion in 2016. This pressure has led to cynicism toward the holiday, which many believe was invented by large corporations such as Hallmark.
There is also criticism of the emphasis on romantic love. What should single people do? “Galentine’s Day,” which takes place on February 13th, was created by NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” It’s intended for women to commemorate their female friends. Surprisingly, NPR mentions an ancient holiday known as “Galantin’s Day,” which translates as “lover of women.” Although additional research could not confirm this, Leslie Knope’s Galentine’s Day has become a popular event.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world
Saint Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers, is commemorated on February 14 in Wales.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated in France, a traditionally Catholic country, as it is in the rest of Western countries.
February 14th is not widely celebrated in Denmark and Norway, but many people make the effort. Obviously, the party is romantically themed with your life partner. In the case of secret love in Denmark, a letter is sent signed in almost cipher, in the sense that the sender does not write his name clearly, but signs it with dots (a number of dots equal to the number of letters in his name). If the girl correctly guesses the identity of the anonymous lover, she will receive a chocolate egg for Easter.
The 14th of February is known as All Saints’ Day in Sweden, but it is not a public holiday. The Swedes, on the other hand, have Valentine’s Day on February 12, St. Gregory’s Day.
In Slovenia, the keys to the roots – This is an intriguing Slovenian proverb. It is said here that Valentine’s Day brings the keys to the roots, implying that the plants and flowers begin to grow on February 14. Valentine’s Day has traditionally been observed as the first day of work in the vineyards and fields.
It is now known as Love Day in the United States.