St. Valentine’s Day: A Snapshot

Do you know what St. Valentine’s Day is?

Valentine’s Day is on 14th February, every year. It’s called St. Valentine’s Day, for it is the holiday for people, who express their sentiments and affections through greetings and gifts. The holiday’s origin is in Lupercalia, i.e. ancient Roman festival celebrated on 15 February under Priests Corporation. The word, ‘Lupus’ is from ‘wolf’ (Latin) and is linked to the ancient deity, a myth of herd protection from a wolf. The festival has the connection with fertility rites in spring on an annual basis.

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The origin of St. Valentine’s Day is muddled, dark and bloody because Romans were crazy and wild. By 13th to 15th February, a feast of Lupercalia was common among Romans. They used to sacrifice a dog and goat and then whipped women by the slain hides. They were drunk and naked, according to history.  Their brutal belief made them believe in beating women to be more fertile. Till the 3rd century, this martyrdom in Catholic Church was honored and St. Valentine’s Day was celebrated.

By the end of 5th century, the event of Lupercalia was replaced with St. Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius. So it led to the celebration of a romance day from the 14th century.

Besides this, there were some stories about Christian martyrs, and the day took its name from the Valentine priest martyred 270 CE ago by Cothicus (Claudius II Emperor). Legend stories describe that priest was accused of a letter ‘from your Valentine’ to the daughter of his jailor (he befriended) and she healed him from blindness.

Another account holds that St. Valentine’s Day is naming on (St. Valentine a bishop) a saint. Moreover, the feast day is related to love for the reason that st. Valentine defied the orders of an emperor and to spare the husbands from war, secretly married couples.

Evolution of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s formal messages started in the 1500s. By the late 17th century, printed love cards used and became commercial in the mid 1800s. Valentines commonly illustrate hearts, a seat of emotions and Cupid, Roman God of love. Another symbol of romance associated with spring is avian mating because birds do this in mid-February. Later, the day became sweeter with the romantic touch of Shakespeare. His work got popular in Europe and Britain.

Traditionally, the day with love influence floats red flowers, candies, chocolates and cards. The popularity of day in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia is well known. It also includes Mexico, Argentina, France and South Korea. The most common wedding anniversary is 14th February in the Philippines. The day is famous to spread love, affection among friends and family. People are hugely influenced that even children exchange valentine’s card in school.

Now, the tradition has new ways of celebration. There is always spread of love, peace and affection with a zero concept of brutality. The festival at the industrial level has flourishing businesses. Market sales on this day cross $18.6 billion in 2011. Some celebrate it as single awareness day (SAD), bring self-gift chocolates and dine alone. Those traditions are no more here and let’s forget about the Romans culture; maybe still someone celebrates that way.

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