Oh, the season of love! February 14 marks one of the hallmark celebrations for one’s (supposed) true love. But have you ever asked yourself, why is the “lover’s day” have to be on February 14? Heck, why is it even called “Valentine’s” day?
Before you have your whole day perplexed with this thought, we are here to enlighten you with the roots of the well-celebrated Valentine’s Day!
Why February 14? Why Not August or November?
As most holidays, the celebration is deeply rooted in ancient traditions. Valentine’s day came from the pagan festival “Lupercalia“. It reveres Faunus, the Roman God of Agriculture, to bring Fertility amongst farmlands and women.
According to History.com, theLuperci, an order of Roman priests, sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification during this event to honor the Roman God and also Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.
They collect the blood and dip the goat’s hide with it. And then, they gently slap the goat’s hide on crops and women to make them more fertile.
Furthermore, young women all over the city pool their names in an urn where young bachelors choose from. The chosen ladies are paired with them throughout the year and, often times, this matchup leads to marriage.
Fast forward to time; Rome is now a Christian empire for 150 years. Despite this, the festivities of >Lupercalia still remain. The Christianization of Rome found Lupercalia to be impious for the church and its followers. And they have acted upon it.
In the 5th Century A.D, Pope Gelasius decreed that February 14 would be the feast of St. Valentines to override this Pagan tradition. Thus, the start of Valentines as we know it today.
Who is St. Valentine?
Wait. So that just explains the date. Who is St. Valentine?
There are numerous St. Valentine’s in history. This is due to “Valentinus” (meaning strong and worthy) being a popular name during that period. Pretty much like today’s “John”.
But the Valentine associated with the day of the hearts are martyrs during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II. Researchers don’t know if these accounts are of the same person or different ones. But here it goes.
Claudius II believed that single men are stronger that’s why he forbid soldiers to get married. Our first St. Valentine disobeyed the decree of Claudius II. He secretly facilitated the union of these soldiers to their loved ones. When he was found out, Claudius II ordered his execution.
The second alleged St. Valentine helped Christians escape from the Roman prisons. When he was imprisoned himself, he wrote the very first “valentine” letter to the daughter of his jailor, which is rumored that he fell in love with. Probably the start of the tradition of sending valentine letters to your loved ones.
The legend is not confirmed yet. But this explains the supposed history of Valentines.
It’s All About Love
Valentines was further associated with love when the celebration traveled across the Europeans countries and the United States.
To add fire to its tipping point, February 14 was believed to be the start of Birds mating season (I dunno where they got this one). It is evident in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem (The Canterbury Tales) on 1382.
Love was associated with it ever since. A barrage of letters, chocolates, and flowers sent out heavily during this day. Marriage proposals of all sorts are rampant. Love is hopefully spreading through the air.
So this is the best explanation I can find. It may be plausible for you. It may be not. But regardless, what’s important is that we have a unified event to profess our love. It’s something to look forward to.
It may be thru these 6 amazingly handmade gift ideas, a simple letter, or companionship. For what it’s worth, the important thing is that we spread the love this Valentine’s Season (whether you’re in a relationship or not).
Happy Valentines Day!