Valentine’s Day, the day where we shower each other with chocolates, flowers, cards and presents. Well, only if you not single 🙂 So, who started Valentine’s day and who was St. Valentine. There are at least three different saints named Valentine/Valentinus. Weirder still, all were martyred; stranger still, all were martyred on the 14th February. (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/valentinesdayhistory.html#ixzz2Km36zsDe)
The most common legend of Valentine’s day; is that during the third century in Rome Valentine was a priest serving during Emperor Claudius II reign. Claudius II is said to have decided that single men were better soldiers than their counterparts who had married and family. Deciding he wanted better soldiers, he banned marriage for young men. Valentine thinking it cruel and unjust defied Claudius. He began performing marriage ceremonies in secret. When Claudius found out; Valentine was arrested and sentenced to death. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day
Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death others believe it was celebrated in the middle of February to “Christianise” the Roman Pagan Festival of Lupercalia(the festival of the she-wolf and fertility) which was celebrated 13-15th February. Lupercalia involved animal sacrifice and the hides of the slaughtered animals were taken into the streets by an order of Roman Priests who would gently slap roman women with the hides for fertility in the coming year. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day Personally, I think I’ll stick with the legend of couples marrying in secret rather than getting hit with bloody animal skins!!
Just for fun here’s a little more Valentine’s Day Trivia:
- Many believe the X symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. They kissed the X to show their sincerity.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They’d pinned the name onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.” (http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/807655/fun-facts-about-valentine-s-day)