Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- Credit: Archant
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we take a look at the history behind why couples around the world celebrate the day.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14.
The day is known for its association with soppy cards of admiration, bunches of roses and heart shape boxes of chocolates.
Valentine’s Day gets its name from a famous saint, however according to the Catholic church there are three theories of who that saint was.
One theory is that Valentine was a priest who served during the third in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.
You may also want to watch:
Valentine didn’t agree with this and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. However, when Valentine’s actions were discovered Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
A different version of events is Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians escape Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured.
- 1 Isaacs call police after quayside drinkers cause chaos outside bar
- 2 The 20 places in Suffolk that recorded the most coronavirus cases this week
- 3 Missing Stowmarket man, 49, found safe and well
- 4 'I left the club in a more than decent place' - Lambert opens up on leaving Town
- 5 Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 0-0 draw at Charlton
- 6 Cook discusses Chambers' future after captain dropped at Charlton
- 7 Barn goes up in flames in Suffolk village
- 8 Shopper eschew Suffolk's smaller towns to hit Primark
- 9 Driver arrested after 12-year-old boy 'seriously injured' in crash
- 10 Plans to build bungalow in pub garden refused after number of objections
The next story is that an imprisoned Valentine sent the first Valentine letter himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him.
Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.
Even though it isn’t clear who Saint Valentine’s was or why he is famous - each theory shows he was a heroic and romantic figure.
How did Valentine’s Day start?
Having a Valentine is thought to originate from a Roman Festival.
The festival was called Lupercalia and was in the middle of February.
As part of the celebrations it is thought that boys drew names of girls from a box.
They would be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they would get married.
The church then wanted to turn the festival into a Christian celebration and decided to use it to remember St Valentine too.
Did you know?
• The first Valentine’s Day was in the year 496.
• On average 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent out globally.
Read more: When is Pancake Day 2018?