A brief history of Valentine's Day
6th February 2024
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Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day, has a rich and fascinating history dating back to ancient times. Its origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery, but the holiday has evolved over centuries into the celebration of love and affection that we know today.

The roots of Valentine's Day can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where it is believed to have originated in the Lupercalia festival, a fertility celebration held in mid-February. During this festival, young men would draw the names of young women from a jar, forming temporary couples for the duration of the festival, and sometimes leading to lasting relationships.

The Christian influence on Valentine's Day began with the martyrdom of Saint Valentine, a priest who lived in the 3rd century AD. It is said that Emperor Claudius II forbade young men from marrying, believing that single men made better soldiers. Saint Valentine, however, continued to perform marriages in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was imprisoned and ultimately executed on 14th February. Before his death, he allegedly wrote a letter to a young girl he had befriended, signing it "From your Valentine," a phrase that has endured through the ages.

Valentine's Day continued to evolve over the centuries, with various customs and traditions developing in different regions. In the Middle Ages, it became associated with courtly love and the exchange of love letters. By the 18th century, it had become a popular day for sending tokens of affection, such as handwritten notes and flowers.

The commercialisation of Valentine's Day as we know it today began in the 19th century, with the mass production of Valentine's cards and the exchange of gifts. Over time, it has grown into a global celebration of love, encompassing not only romantic relationships but also expressions of affection to friends and family.

Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated around the world with the exchange of cards, flowers, chocolates, and romantic gestures. It has also become a day to promote acts of kindness and love towards others, making it a holiday that transcends romantic love and celebrates all forms of human connection and affection.


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