Every February 14, across the United States as well as in other places worldwide, sweet, blossoms and also gifts are traded between enjoyed ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. However who is this strange saint, as well as where did these practices come from? Discover the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman routines to the customizeds of Victorian England.
THE STORY OF ST. VALENTINE
The history of Valentine’s Day– and the story of its patron saint– is shrouded in secret. We do understand that February has actually long been commemorated as a month of love, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, includes remnants of both Christian and also ancient Roman practice. However that was Saint Valentine, as well as exactly how did he end up being related to this old ceremony?
Did You Know?
” Roughly 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are traded annually, making Valentine’s Day the 2nd most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.”
The Catholic Church recognizes a minimum of three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, every one of which were martyred. One tale competes that Valentine was a clergyman who served throughout the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II chose that solitary guys made better soldiers than those with spouses as well as family members, he disallowed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, resisted Claudius and also remained to do marriages for young fans in key. When Valentine’s actions were uncovered, Claudius got that he be put to death.
Other tales suggest that Valentine might have been eliminated for attempting in order to help Christians escape rough Roman prisons, where they were often beaten as well as tortured. According to one tale, a locked up Valentine really sent the very first “valentine” welcoming himself after he loved a girl– potentially his jailor’s little girl– that visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is affirmed that he wrote her a letter authorized “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the fact behind the Valentine legends is murky, the tales all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and also– most importantly– charming number. By the Center Ages, probably many thanks to this reputation, Valentine would certainly become one of the most popular saints in England as well as France.
BEGINNINGS OF VALENTINE’S DAY: A PAGAN CELEBRATION IN FEBRUARY
While some think that Valentine’s Day is commemorated in the center of February to commemorate the wedding anniversary of Valentine’s death or funeral– which possibly took place around A.D. 270– others claim that the Christian church may have determined to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an initiative to “Christianize” the pagan event of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of farming, along with to the Roman owners Romulus as well as Remus.
To start the celebration, participants of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would certainly gather at a spiritual cave where the infants Romulus as well as Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would give up a goat, for fertility, as well as a canine, for filtration. They would certainly after that remove the goat’s hide into strips, dip them right into the sacrificial blood as well as take to the roads, carefully slapping both ladies as well as crop areas with the goat conceal. Much from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was thought to make them a lot more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, inning accordance with legend, all the young women in the city would position their names in a large urn. The city’s bachelors would certainly each select a name as well as become paired for the year with his picked woman. These matches typically finished in marital relationship.
VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF LOVE
Lupercalia survived the preliminary increase of Christianity as well as yet was forbidden– as it was considered “un-Christian”– at the end of the Fifth century, when Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later on, nonetheless, that the day came to be definitively connected with love. During the Middle Ages, it was typically believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ breeding period, which added to the idea that the center of Valentine’s Day ought to be a day for romance.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Center Ages, though composed Valentine’s really did not begin to show up until after 1400. The earliest known valentine still out there today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Battle Each Other of Orleans, to his spouse while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The welcoming is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Collection in London, England.) A number of years later on, it is thought that King Henry V employed an author called John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
TYPICAL VALENTINE’S DAY GREETINGS
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is commemorated in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France as well as Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be famously celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it prevailed for good friends and fans of all social courses to trade small tokens of affection or transcribed notes, as well as by 1900 printed cards started to change written letters due to improvements in printing modern technology. Ready-made cards were a simple means for individuals to reveal their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was inhibited. Less expensive postage rates likewise added to a rise in the appeal of sending Valentine’s Day introductions.
Americans possibly started trading hand-made valentines in the very early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began marketing the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, called the “Mother of the Valentine,” made fancy creations with real shoelace, bows and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Organization, an approximated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second biggest card-sending vacation of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase about 85 percent of all valentines.