On February 14th, couples around the world give and receive gifts of affection as a tradition of Valentine’s Day. Also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, this special day is often represented by and may include roses, cards, chocolates, and other symbolic gifts. The majority of people know the meaning of Valentine’s Day, but not a lot know how it came to be or how its traditions were developed.
The first “holiday of love” dates back centuries to 269 A.D.. As shown in an article by BBC.co.uk, the current roman emperor, Emperor Claudius, had enforced a law prohibiting marriages because he thought that married men made bad soldiers. Behind the emperor’s back, a Roman priest by the name St. Valentine- hence the name “Saint Valentine’s Day,”-would marry people. Eventually, he was caught and sentenced to death. However, before his sentence could be carried out, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. On February 14th, the current date of Valentine’s Day, the Saint was killed, but not before he gave a letter to his forbidden love signed, “From your Valentine.” The story of St. Valentine has inspired the wonderful holiday of love that is known today.
St. Valentine didn’t invent Valentine’s Day all on his own. Some other well-known symbols of love commonly seen on Valentine’s Day are roses, cupid, hearts, and-of course-chocolate. There are different explanations for each one, originating around the world. For instance, roses are a symbol of Aphrodite and her son Eros, the Greek gods of love, yet Cupid comes from the Romans, as their god of love. In Egyptian mythology, the heart was said to be the center of all emotion, this includes love. Santabarbarachocolate.com explains how chocolate began with European royalty giving their lovers chocolate and amber to stimulate their love. Theholidayspot.com elaborates on this, claiming that chocolate contains a substance that arouses desire and makes people more open to romance.
Valentine’s Day is one of the most widely known holidays in February, however, there is truly a whole week based on romance. The week starts on the seventh with Rose Day. It then continues with Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day, and finally the prominent Valentine’s Day. A lesser-known holiday on February 15th was created to counter Valentine’s Day. It’s called “Singles Awareness Day” so that singles could celebrate their loneliness instead of being sad. This idea has made singles way happier after a holiday for couples.
The history of Valentine’s Day is interesting, yet touching. After many years, a lot of couples hold this day dear to their heart, and singles can enjoy themselves too.
By: Alessy Madero