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Where does Valentine's Day stem from?

13th Feb 17 11:50 am

Take a look at the history…

Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery, myths and legends dating back centuries. So where did this day come from and what is this day really all about?  

It is thought that Valentine’s day could have started from the ancient Romans and may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. The Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus II was briefly linked to St. Valentine. It is claimed that St. Valentine was beaten and beheaded for providing aid to the Christians in Rome. Emperor Claudius II had him beheaded in 1270 AD as St. Valentine defied the ban of performing secret marriages along with refusing to deny Christ before the Emperor. It is said that February 14th is the day that the Christian Church sets aside this day in memory.

However, it is also thought that the roots of St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia. This was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13th through 15th to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Some say February 15thwas the day where men stripped naked and spanked the young maidens in the hope this would increase their fertility.  This said it seems that there is no evidence of any link between St. Valentine’s day and the Roman festival of Lupercalia, despite many authors claims. 

It is further claimed that this day was not romantic at all until Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his poem in the 14th Century, The Parlement of Foules in which he mentioned St. Valentine’s Day is a special day for lovers. Chaucer wrote “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bride cometh there to choose his mate.” This poem was written for the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on the 2nd May, 1381.  

In 1537 King Henry VIII officially declared by Royal Charter that all of England would celebrate February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day. Over the centuries, the tradition of Valentine’s Day as we now call it has naturally evolved into a day that we celebrate with our loved ones.  

Legend has it that the colours of Valentine’s Day are Pink Red and White. Pink is claimed to resemble the burial of Saint Valentine whose burial caused the pink almond tree to blossom. White resembles faith and purity. Red is the colour of the heart and brings warmth. It is said that this is the basic foundations of love…  



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