The Day of Love and Romance: February 14
February 14 is Valentine's Day, the day of love and romance. On the most romantic day of the year, couples reach the heights of love and romance. So, how did this special day come about? Here is how the Valentine's Day celebrated on February 14 has emerged.
Valentine's Day celebrations are based on a very old tradition. It is thought that this special day, which has its origins in the Roman Catholic Church, may have emerged as a feast day declared in the name of the clergyman named Valentine. According to legend, in the 3rd century MS., the Roman Emperor Claudius II who wanted to have a strong army forbade young men to marry. St. Valentine, who opposed this prohibition, continued to marry young people of course secretly.
When Emperor Claudius realized this, he imprisoned Valentine and sentenced him to death. In prison, Valentine falls in love with the guard's daughter, sending her a love letter signed "Your Valentine" as he is taken to execution on February 14. Legend has it that Saint Valentine was executed on February 14. For this reason, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 every year.
The Origins of Valentine's Day: A Pagan Festival celebrated in February
Another legend about Valentine's Day dates back to Ancient Rome. The origin of Valentine's Day is thought to be based on a three-day festival called "Lupercalia" around 270 M.S. Known as the Spring and Love Festival, Lupercalia falls in February. Dedicated to the Goddess of Fertility, this festival also heralded the official start of spring.
During the celebrations, men drew women's names from paper thrown into a box. During the festival, couples dating each other became lovers, maybe even married. The church wanted to end pagan celebrations in later centuries. Therefore, they turned the festivities into celebrations in the name of Saint Valentine.
Valentine's Day from Past to Present
At the end of the 5th century, the Roman Pope Gelasius officially proclaimed February 14 as "Saint Valentine's Day". The tradition that the mating season of birds begins on February 14 in France and England is thought to carry this special day to the present day.
The connection between love and romance and Valentine is seen in historical documents in 14th century sources. In France and England, February 14 was traditionally believed to be the start of the mating season of birds. It is predicted that this might have contributed to its acceptance as Valentine's Day.
The earliest record of Valentine's Day was penned by a French medieval duke named Charles as a poem written to his wife in 1415. While imprisoned in the Tower of London, Charles writes a romantic note to his girlfriend.
By the 17th century, it is seen that people started giving cards and handwritten letters to their lovers and friends on February 14. In 1840, the first Valentine's Day serial cards were produced by Esther A. Howland in the USA. Known as the American mother of Valentine's Day, Howland is best known for her commercialization of Valentine's Day cards.
By the 1900s, written letters were replaced by printed cards due to the developments in printing technology. Ready-made cards stood out as an easy way to express emotions directly. Cheap postage rates also boosted the popularity of sending cards on Valentine's Day.
Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated in different ways in different countries. On Valentine's Day, which is celebrated on a global scale, couples receive each other the most special gifts.
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