Valentine’s Day is also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. It has it’s roots in Christian traditions, but today is a day to celebrate romance and love in our culture today.
Originates from a Christian Feast
St Valentine brief history
Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.
Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies.
A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire.
According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius.
An embellishment to this story states that before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).
Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards..
The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
The first documented association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love occurred in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls (c. 1382).
The poem celebrates the anniversary of the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia.
In the work, a group of birds convene to find a king or queen to rule them and organize their mating rituals.
They settle on a “fair egle” as their king, but he declines their offer and scolds them for their childishness and immaturity:
“To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”
Valentines day is celebrated by all over the world.
It is not confined to a particular city, town or country. It has no religious connotations and besides, it is an occasion for the universal expression of love.
It can be celebrated in any manner the individual likes and with any person that he or she loves.