Flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, love letters, and balloons will definitely be abundant today for the much awaited lovers’ holiday. Valentine’s Day is a big deal in most western countries and couples get excited for their romantic dates. Are you one of the people who celebrate this day? Do you know when and how did this special day came to be?
Valentine’s Day Origins
There are numerous versions of the origin of Valentine’s Day. One talks about Valentine, a Roman priest from the 3rd century AD. Emperor Claudius II, also referred as Claudius the Cruel, ruled Rome during his time. He led bloody military operations and had difficulty recruiting soldiers because men didn’t want to leave their wives and families. For this reason, the oppressive ruler decided to ban engagements and marriages. Valentine fought for love and secretly held marriage ceremonies. For this crime, he was jailed and sentenced to death. While imprisoned, he fell in love with a guard’s daughter. On the day of his execution, 14th February, he left her a love letter that ended with “from your Valentine.”
Pope Glasious I established the feast of St. Valentine on the aforementioned date in 496 AD. The saint’s skull is currently found at the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, on Rome’s Piazza Bocca della Verità. It has a flower coronet and a stenciled inscription.
Valentine’s Day is also associated with a pagan festival in Rome called Lupercalia. Young people of marrying age celebrated it on 15th February to honour the Roman goddess Februata Juno. It was like an olden dating or pairing game where young gentlemen drew a lady’s name from a love urn. When the Romans colonised Britain, they introduced this concept and the early Britons gladly accepted it. With the fusion of pagan and Christian festivals, Lupercalia was moved a day earlier, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The old pagan customs still remained and the lottery-style dating game continues up to the present.
Valentine’s Day Symbolisms
The general premise of Valentines is showing your love for your significant other. There are various symbols attached to this celebration, with the heart sign being the top. Giving your heart as a gift signifies the noble act of giving everything to your loved one.
The charming Cupid is linked with the attraction and love a person feels towards another. It is a Latin word that means desire. When a person falls in love, it is said that he or she has been hit by Cupid’s arrow. The giving of roses to women came from the Victorians. This type of flowers was said to have been the favourite of Roman goddess of love Venus. It denotes romance and passion. A heartfelt love letter, no matter how simple, can be the sweetest gift an individual can receive. While receiving expensive gifts like jewelry, candy and flowers is impressive, pouring out your heart through writing demonstrates more passion. It is something that money could never buy.
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