Valentines Day Origin | Jo Tempest

Valentines Day Origin

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is the second most celebrated day after New Year. But where did it come from?

Well, it actually has quite a macabre history. It’s thought it came from the martyrdom of Saint Valentinus who was imprisoned for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire.

He also performed weddings for soldiers who were often forbidden to marry, as it was thought that single men made better soldiers! While Valentinus was in prison, it was proclaimed that he helped his jailer, Asterius, by restoring his daughter’s sight.

The legend states that just before his execution on February 14th , he sent a farewell written note to the daughter signed ‘from your Valentine’. 

Also, around this time, the Romans celebrated the ‘Feast of Lupercalia’ on 15th February, in honor of a goddess. The young Roman men would randomly pick a female name and escort the girl with the chosen name to the festivities. (I am sure it wasn’t quite as random as it was meant to be!). Once Christianity took its hold, the day was moved to February 14th, as they already celebrated Saint Valentinus on that day. 

By the 15th Century, the day had evolved into a day to send special love cards, known as Valentines, as well as chocolates and flowers, and the rest is history, as they say.

Now, there is also the tradition of sending anonymous Valentine cards to potential boy or girlfriends, and I can still remember receiving them when I was a teenager.

In fact, I can still recall one I received anonymously when I was around 16 years old. It said “ Meet me at the gate at eight, and we will have a date”. I was so impressed I went on the date! 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day and are really inundated with beautiful cards, flowers and chocolates.

 

Jo Tempest. 

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