What is Valentine’s Day?

Let’s get back to basics.

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Valentine's Day 2017 (source: Date Night Cincinnati)

Every year on the 14 th of February we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a day we show affection for one another by sending cards, flowers, chocolates and messages of love.

But unlike Easter and Christmas, where everyone seems to know about the back story, not many people know much about this holiday.

Why do we celebrate it? Who is St Valentine? Is it important that we still celebrate it?

There are so many unanswered questions.

Well here’s an update so we’re all on the same page this Valentine’s Day.

So who is St Valentine?

Who St Valentine actually is, is shrouded in mystery. Most scholars believe that St.

Valentine was a priest. Around 270, the Roman emperor Cladius II had prohibited marriage for young men, so they could be better soldiers.

Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies. Eventually he was found out and put to jail for his crimes; however Valentine continued the message of love caring for his fellow cellmates.

He was set to be put to death on February 14 th , but before he died he wrote a love message signed ‘from your Valentine’.

When did the holiday start?

It wasn’t until 200 years later that the day became Valentines Day. It is believed to have originated from a Roman Festival called Lupercalia. Also known as the fertility festival, boys would draw names of girls from a box and the pair would be partners during the festival.

The festival was outlawed at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine’s Day.

The day changed from celebrating fertility and agriculture and instead marked the martyrdom of St Valentine.

So why do we celebrate it now?

Today Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with romantic love, with gifts of roses, chocolates, flowers and hampers.

Many people believe the original story has wasted away over time and it’s a holiday to spend money for no reason.

Other people believe that it’s still a nice day to celebrate the people you love and spend special time together.

Whatever your beliefs are, it’s a holiday here to stay. And quite frankly, I’m always down to enjoy a holiday (especially one that gifts chocolate).