The History of Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is a day when we show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives. Through learning the history of the holiday, we can come to a greater appreciation of what it stands for and how it came to be.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States, France, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and many more countries. It is known as the day of romance and love, but how did this come around?
According to media company History, the bare origins of Valentine’s Day dates back to the legend of St.Valentine. The Roman Catholic Church acknowledges three different St.Valentine’s with different stories that show love and compassion. The first legend is the belief that Valentine was a priest who continued to conduct young lovers’ marriages after the marriage of young men was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II. The second legend states that Valentine helped Christian prisoners escape harsh Roman prisons. The final legend believes that while Valentine was imprisoned, he sent the first known Valentine greeting to the daughter of his jailor who visited him before he was put to death. The greeting allegedly was signed, “From your Valentine,” which is a phrase still used today.
The date of Valentine’s Day is believed to be on the day that St.Valentine was put to death approximately around A.D. 270. Another belief is that it occurs around this time when many tried to “Christianize” the holiday of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a festival celebrating fertility which was dedicated to the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus, and Faunus, who was the Roman god of agriculture.
According to Britannica, “Valentines” first appeared in the 1500s and became widely used in the 1700s when commercial printings of the cards became more common. Cupid, the Roman god of love, is found on many of these Valentine’s Day cards. It is thought that the “avian mating season” begins in mid-February, therefore leading to birds becoming a statement symbol for this holiday as well along with hearts, flowers and candy.