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History of Valentines Day

Some holidays like Memorial Day and Mother's Day have very clear origins and it is obvious what they are celebrating. Valentine's day is a little more vague. Where does the idea of a Valentine's day come from? How did this whole thing get started? Why does the whole world choose to celebrate the entities called "love" and "affections" on February 14 or each year?

The celebration of February 14 as a day for lovers has several origins. Its historical legacy came from a series of customs and historical events in the last few centuries of the Roman Empire, between the first and fifth centuries A.D.

Ancient Romans actually believed that birds, particularly lovebirds, began their mating season on February 14 of each year. This was the sign of the coming of spring for the Romans, and the ancient Romans therefore held a festival of fertility, called Lupercalia, which honored the pagan pastoral god Lupercus, on February 15 or each year.

As the Roman Empire declined, though, Christianity was on the rise. By the third century A.D., Rome was ruled by Christian Emporers. One of them, Cladius II, known as Cladius the Cruel, was having trouble getting men to join his armies, called Legions,
to fight in Rome's many wars. romanceCladius believed men did not want to join the Legions because they did not want to leave their loved ones. He reacted by voiding and outlawing all marriages.

After this happened, a Christian priest named Valentine stepped forward to fight Cladius and his ban on marriages. Valentine secretly married couples, including couples involving soldiers, against the Emporer's wishes for years. When Cladius found out about this, he threw Valentine in jail and beheaded him on February 14, 270 A.D.

It wasn't until a few hundred years later that the modern idea of Valentine's Day began to develop though. The Roman Catholic Church, wanting to eliminate all pagan forms of religion in the Roman Empire, made valentine into a saint and created a holiday on February 14, in his honor, to replace the Lupercalia festival.

From those sordid beginnings, Valentine's Day developed into the present day celebration, going from a festival for a beheaded saint to billions of dollars in flowers and candy to celebrate the lovers of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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