The History Of Valentine’s Day

What is your favorite holiday? Most would answer with Halloween, Christmas or Thanksgiving, but what about that cute, little holiday about love? Valentine’s Day makes you think of teddy bears, a dozen red roses, and heart shaped candy. While this is true for modern day valentines, the origins behind this holiday are actually surprising. Keep reading to learn more about its tragic, yet romantic backstory.

So who started this holiday? Well it was started by a Catholic Priest, and would you like to take a guess on his name? I will give you a hint, starting with a ‘V’, and ending with a ‘E’. You guessed it right— , kind of. Saint Valentine, or also known as Saint Valentinus, in the name of love helped couples get married in secret. This was about the time when Emperor Claudius II put a ban on marriage, determining that single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine realized this was unfair and helped the young lovers in secret. Once his actions were discovered he was put to death–all in the name of love!

Do you wonder where the phrase “your valentine” comes from? Why do you want someone to be your valentine? While it may sound sweet, this solicitation actually comes from another tragic story. This Valentine was a prisoner that fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. He would write his love letters to her and sign them ¨from your Valentine¨. So while this type of suffering may seem romantic, I think the jailer’s daughter is the real romantic hero in this story. She not only helped Valentine dream of love while in the darkest of circumstances, she also inspired a whole holiday of romantic hope and anticipation! Maybe this explains why one would want a Valentine of their own!

The Romans eventually used the day as a fertility celebration. They would sacrifice animals that were thought to be fertile and allow women to touch their coats in hopes of a fertile year. This gradually evolved into other options that would bring about lovey-dovey feelings! What more obvious choice than chocolate? That big red box full of delicate chocolate candies, a pretty card, and maybe some flowers, and your odds for love just increased! Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world and not just for the sugar, but the chance to find love and happiness!