Valentine’s day, which is also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated each year on February the 14th. It is celebrated in many countries around the world and traditionally in a leap year a woman can propose to her partner.
It is the day of the year that people in love show their affection for each other with cards containing messages of love, flowers, chocolates, romantic meals and much more. A day when someone who loves from afar can send an anonymous romantic message to their hearts desire.
But how did it start?
Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated from a very ancient, possibly a pre-roman festival called Lupercalia, which was celebrated on the 13th, 14th and 15th of February. It was thought to avert evil spirits and purify the city, bringing health and fertility.
Who was St Valentine?
Even though he is a famous saint there are several stories as to who he was. The most popular belief is that he was a priest in Rome in the third century AD. The story states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. It was thought that the Roman Emperor Claudius II believed that a married man did not make a very good soldier.
As legend goes while he was imprisoned he healed the daughter of the jailer from blindness. On the evening before he was due to be executed he wrote a letter to the girl and signed it “Your Valentine” His sentence was carried out the next day.
Despite many claims there is no evidence to link the festival of Lupercalia and St Valentine’s Day. In fact the celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic association until Chaucer’s poetry about valentines in the 14th century. This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.
Even though it is unclear who St Valentine was and how it all began, it is clear that it is a day of love, of being in love and having the hope of finding love. So if love is in the air for you enjoy this romantic day, show the one you love just what they mean to you. For those of you who are secretly in love, take the plunge and tell that special person you care. If you get an anonymous card through the post take a moment to think how much it coud have taken someone to send it. And finally if you are feeling alone on Valentine’s day and feel like you are unloved remember there is someone out there that to them you are the world.