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The History of Valentine’s Day

Katie Kerin and Grace Wallen

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Every year on February 14th, Valentine’s day is celebrated all over the world. People give greeting cards, chocolates and flowers to loved ones.

Valentine’s day is the second most popular card sending holiday after Christmas, but what is the history of the holiday and how did these traditions come about?

Different Valentine’s traditions come from various aspects of Christian and ancient Roman cultures. However, many parts of the holiday are still considered a mystery.

February has been considered a month of romance for a long time, but we specifically celebrate the 14th mainly to honor Saint Valentine.

One legend believes that Saint Valentine was a priest who served in third century Rome. Emperor Claudius II declared that young men were not allowed to marry because he believed it would distract them from battle.

Valentine believed this was wrong, and secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young couples. When his actions were discovered, he was sentenced to death. Other people believed that Valentine helped prisoners escape from Roman torture, or that he was sending forbidden letters to a woman that he loved signed, “From your Valentine.”

Though the true story behind him is still considered a mystery, they all represent Valentine as a heroic character who fought for romance.

The holiday is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate either the death or burial of Valentine. People still celebrate his actions today by giving gifts, cards and symbols of romance to their loved ones around them. Valentine’s day is also seen as a day to celebrate close friendships (Fact credit :History.com).

 

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