The Origin of Valentine’s Day: What you Should know

The Grim Origins of Valentine's Day.

by Adeola Adeyeye
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When we think about Valentine’s day, we often think about it as a time to celebrate our loved ones. We see it as a time to have fun, display affection for our partners and exchange gifts. However, the origin of valentine’s remains unknown to many who celebrate it. Even while the origin of Valentine’s isn’t exact, its root can be traced to the Roman origin of the Valentine celebration.

The Romans celebrate the feast of Lupercalia from February 13 -15. During this feast, a goat and dog are sacrificed while women are lined up to be whipped with the hides of the slain animal. This practice is believed would make the whipped women fertile.

The celebration also witnesses women being paired with young men who were made to draw their names from a jar. This pairing is expected to last for the duration of the event. It may be sustained if both consider themselves a perfect match for each other.

Also notable is the martyrdom of two men, both named Valentine.

The execution of these two men by  Roman Emperor Claudius II  on February 14 of different years within the third century is said to have necessitated the celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day. Nevertheless, other events arising seem to have muddled up the essence of  Valentine. One of which is Pope Gelasius’ combination of the Valentine’s Day celebration with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. There is also the Normans’ celebration of Galatin’s Day-Galatin is reported to mean the “Lover of women“.

Valentine continued to evolve as some notable poets like Shakespeare and Chaucer began romanticizing it in their writings. This made it more popular throughout Europe and Britain before it became a global celebration.

Now, a lot of people revere it as a day to shower their loved ones with gifts such as jewellery, chocolate boxes, Bouquets and so on while those who are not in a relationship consider it a day to be reminded of their singlehood and of the need to find themselves a partner before the next celebration.

Do you know this already about the origin of Valentine’s Day?  Let me know what you think in the comment section.

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