HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY

HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY

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Every February 14, everywhere in the United States and elsewhere in the world, candies, flowers and gifts are exchanged between their loved ones, all in the name of Valentine’s Day. But who is this mysterious saint and where do these traditions come from? Discover the history of this centennial festival, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.

HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY
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THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE

The story of Valentine’s Day and the story of his patron saint are shrouded in mystery. We know that February was long celebrated as a month of romance and that Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains remnants of the Christian tradition and ancient Rome. But who was Valentine’s Day, and how was he associated with this ancient rite?

Did you Know? About 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular post-Christmas delivery.

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints called Valentine or Valentino, all martyred. A legend holds that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than those with women and families, he banned marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, challenged Claudius and continued to make weddings for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudio ordered that he be killed.

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Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for trying to help Christians escape from Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to a legend, Valentine in prison actually sent the first “Valentine’s Day” after falling in love with a girl, perhaps the daughter of his jailer, who visited him during his internment. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote to her a signed letter “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still used today. Although the truth behind Valentine’s legends is murky, all the stories underline her appeal as a likable, heroic and, above all, romantic character. In the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY
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ORIGINS OF HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: A PAGAN FESTIVAL IN FEBRUARY

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in mid-February to commemorate the anniversary of the death or burial of Valentine’s Day, which probably took place around 270 AD, others claim that the church Christian would have decided to place Valentine’s Day in mid-February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Held at the Ides of February or February 15, Lupercales was a festival dedicated to the fertility of Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as the founders of Rome Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of Luperques, an order of Roman priests, gathered in a sacred cave where it was believed that the children Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, had been cared for by a wolf or Lupa. The priests sacrificed a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. Then stripped the goat skin into strips, dipped in sacrificial blood and descended into the streets, gently slapping the women and the kid’s fields. Far from being afraid, Roman women praised the touch of the skins because it was believed that they would make them more fertile next year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women of the city would place their names in a large urn. Singles in the city would choose a name and be paired for the year with their chosen wife. These parts often ended in marriage.

HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY
Get more information on the history of Valentine’s Day history, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Get all the information on aimpak.com

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE

Lupercalia survived the first ascension of Christianity and was banned because it was considered “un-Christian” at the end of the fifth century, when Pope Gelasius declared Valentine’s Day on February 14th. However, it was not until much later that the day was definitely associated with love. In the Middle Ages, it was generally believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of the bird’s love season, which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day of romance.

Valentine’s greetings were popular in the Middle Ages, although Valentine’s writings only appeared after 1400. The oldest known Valentine’s Day letter is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke. d’Orléans, for his wife, while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The vows are now part of the British Library manuscripts collection in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose Valentine’s note for Catherine of Valois.

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Red Couple Valentine's Day Card (4)
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TYPICAL HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY GREETINGS

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be celebrated popularly around the 17th century. In the middle of the eighteenth century, friends and lovers of all social classes frequently exchanged small samples of affection or handwritten notes. In 1900, printed cards replaced written letters because of improvements in printing technology. Prepared letters were an easy way for people to express their emotions at a time when the direct expression of their own feelings was discouraged. The cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably started trading handmade Valentine cards in the early 18th century. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced Valentines in the United States. Howland, known as the “Mother of St. Valentine”, has created elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful squares called “scrap”. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, about one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second-largest card-sending party of the year. . (About 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas). Women buy about 85% of all Valentine’s Day cards.

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