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What is Valentine’s Day and how did it start?

Posted By: Jet Park Hotels - 14 Feb, 2022


 

There are many different stories about who was St. Valentine, however the most popular version is he was a priest in the third century AD from Rome.

Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.

There, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February, he sent her a love letter signed "from your Valentine".

The first Valentine’s Day was celebrated way back in 496 AD and is thought to have originated from a Roman festival.

The Romans had a festival called Lupercaila in the middle of February which was the start of spring.  As part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box. They would be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes get married.

When the church wanted to turn that festival into a Christian feast day, they decided to celebrate St Valentine too. Pope Gelasius I named the 14 February as St. Valentine's day.

The symbol for Valentine's Day is Cupid. In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Legend has it that Cupid is armed with a bow and arrow to pierce people's hearts causing them to fall deeply in love.

St. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers, in charge of keeping honey sweet and beekeepers protected.

 

 

 

Reference: BBC.co.uk (n.d.). What is Valentine’s Day and how did it start? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/16945378

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