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What Is The Purpose of Valentine’s Day?

Zion Frost, Staff Writer

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Why is it called “Valentines” Day?

With Valentines Day approaching, many students are beginning to feel bored with the holiday as if it’s a pointless holiday where we feel pressured to spend money. When you walk into stores, there are balloons and decorations, companies advertise their products with a Valentines Day theme, sales but it seems that the history behind the holiday is rarely discussed. To begin with, the origins of the notorious holiday’s name begins with a man by the name of “Saint Valentine” who was a priest who was beheaded somewhere near Rome by emperor Claudius II for assisting Christian couples plan out their weddings.

How did Valentines Day come to be?

The actual holiday derived from an ancient Roman tradition that actually took place on February 15 instead of February 14 called Lupercalia which was celebrated with the intentions of banishing wicked spirits and regaining purification to the city and spreading health and fertility. Lupercalia continued being celebrated when Christianity was becoming popular, however because of the rituals practiced on this day, near the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius decided to switch the date from February 15 to February 14 and changed the name to St. Valentine’s Day. Despite the holiday’s Roman origins, St. Valentine’s Day became entirely different than intended. Sometime during the 5th to 15th century, both France and England had began associating the holiday with the subject of “romance” and “love.”

Why do we associate Valentines Day with romance?

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Direct capture

The real purpose behind St. Valentine’s Day may shock some students as this was chosen as a day to celebrate love because the beginning of the birds’ mating season was around this time as well. The oldest known valentine still exists today and was written from a duke to his wife while he was imprisoned, the letter was dated 1415. Although St. Valentine’s Day began in Europe and the Americas, the holiday has now become a worldwide phenomenon. Wherever you may be in the world on February 14, chances are that talk of valentines, love and gifts probably won’t be too far away.

 

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