Valentine’s Day History
Valentine’s Day Tradition
Today we have many various celebration ideas of Valentine’s Day. Each chooses special one for himself/herself. Nevertheless, few people know about the attractive history of this feast.
Firstly, you have to know that there are two most popular legends of St. Valentine. The first legend tells about the priest named Valentine who married young men in spite of Emperor Claudius’s prohibition. Thus, Claudius II executed him.
The second legend describes Valentine as a man who helped the Christians to escape from Roman punishments. Very soon he was in prison because of his deed. It is believed that he wrote a letter to his girl before the death and signed it “From your Valentine.” In such a way, the tradition of “valentines” started. By the way, Valentine’s Day is the second feast after Christmas where we use the biggest number of greeting cards, almost two hundred million.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is also fascinating. It is not a secret that it was a pagan feast at the beginning. With time, the Christian church turned it into the Christian holiday. The pagans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, and the main feature was to whip women with the killed skins of animals. It is believed that it made them fertile and happier. There were also various strange rituals and sacrifices of animals. Usually, the feast ended with the weddings between young women and men.
Valentine’s Day became a day of romance in the Middle Ages. Many poets wrote love poems and devoted them to their ladies. The first such a poem appeared in the 1415 year. His author was Charles, the Duke of Orlean, who wrote it to his wife while he was in prison. Hence, it became fashionable to write such love letters all over the World in spite of a status or a title.
In the XVII century, Valentine’s Day became popular in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France and Australia. Initially, people from Great Britain exchanged with hand-made small tokens and handwritten notes, but since the XIX century, the cards have been printed. Since it was the easiest way to express emotions, people liked sending postcards.
The American way of Valentine’s Day was almost the same. Firstly, they make hand-made cards, then A. Howland, known as “Mother of the Valentine,” started mass production, thus increasing the popularity of this feast even more.
Today Valentine’s Day is the second most widespread holidays in the World after Christmas. Thousands of people buy cards and send them to their relatives, friends, lovers, etc. and wish them love, happiness, luck, and so on. The number of Valentine’s cards was almost one billion last year! Just imagine it!