DAA Daily

The History of Valentine’s Day

By: Jenna Zuraiki, Features Editor, The Pawprint

Valentine’s Day happens every year on  February 14th. Around the whole world, candy, roses and gifts are traded between friends and family, all in the name of St. Valentine. Who is St. Valentine and where did these traditions come from?

The history of Valentine’s Day is hidden in mystery. We do know that February has for quite some time been praised as a month of love and romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as far as we might be concerned today, contains vestiges of both Christian and old Roman custom. However, who was Saint Valentine, and how could he become related with this ancient ritual?

Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who performed secret weddings against the desires of the authorities in the third century. He was detained in the home of an honorable man, he healed his captor’s blind daughter, making the entire family convert to Christianity and fixing his destiny. Prior to being tormented and beheaded on February 14, he sent the young lady a note marked “Your Valentine.” 

While some accept that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial (which presumably happened around 270 A.D.) others guarantee that the Christian church may have chosen to put St. Valentine’s dining experience day in February with an end goal to “Christianize” the agnostic festival of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the sides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival devoted to Faunus, the Roman divine force of agriculture, just as to the Roman organizers Romulus and Remus.

To start the celebration, individuals from the Luperci, a request for Roman ministers, would gather at a holy cavern where the babies Romulus and Remus, the organizers of Rome, were accepted to have been really focused on by a she-wolf or lupa. The priest would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goats stow away into strips, dunk them into the conciliatory blood and riot, delicately slapping the two ladies and harvest fields with the goat cover up. A long way from being unfortunate, Roman ladies invited the hint of the stows away on the grounds that it was accepted to make them more fruitful in the coming year. Later in the day, as per legend, all the young ladies in the city would put their names in a major urn. The city’s lone wolves would each pick a name and become combined for the year with his picked lady. These matches frequently finished in marriage.

Lupercalia endured the underlying ascent of Christianity however was banned toward the end of the fifth century, when Pope Gelasius pronounced February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until some other time, nevertheless, that the day turned out to be authoritatively connected with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the start of birds mating season, which added to the possibility that the center of Valentine’s Day ought to be a day for romanticism. The English writer Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of sentimental festival in his 1375 sonnet “Parliament of Foules,” composing, “For this was sent on Saint Valentine’s day/When each foul cometh there to pick his mate.”

Valentine welcomes were famous as far back as the Middle Ages, however composed Valentine’s didn’t start to show up until after 1400. The most seasoned known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his better half while he was detained in the Tower of London following his catch at the Battle of Agincourt. (The welcome is presently essential for the original copy assortment of the British Library in London, England.) After several years, it is accepted that King Henry V recruited an essayist named John Lydgate to create a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas).

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day started to be prevalently celebrated around the seventeenth century.

By the middle of the eighteenth, it was regular for friends and lovers of all social classes to trade little badges of love or handwritten love notes, and by 1900 printed cards started to supplant composed letters because of upgrades in printing innovation. Instant cards were a simple route for individuals to communicate their feelings in when direct articulation of one’s emotions was debilitating. Less expensive postage rates likewise added to an increment in the notoriety of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans most likely started trading hand-made valentines in the mid 1700s. During the 1840s, Esther A. Howland started selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made decorative creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures recognized as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.

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