How Valentine’s Day Started

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A long time ago in the Roman Empire, the people gathered to celebrate an event. On the day of the event, the priests gathered on Palatine Hill. A goat was sacrificed and its hype was made into stripes. Young men struck the ladies gently with the stripes to purify them. This act of purification was called Februa from which February got its name. During the same celebration, each eligible male picked up a name of a virgin female randomly from a box to be his date with the hope of marrying her. After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, such practice was banned. In my opinion, the practice of picking someone randomly to be a life partner is not a good practice because it may cause the man to choose the wrong life partner which may lead to an unhappy marriage and it doesn’t seem to treat the ladies whose name who were in the box as humans. The entire celebration was called Lupercalia. The celebration took place between from February 14 to February 15 every year. Later the celebration of Lupercalia was to be replaced by St. Valentine’s Day.

This is how St. Valentine’s Day started. St. Valentine was a Christian priest. The Roman emperor at that time, forbid people from getting married. The emperor did so as he believed that men that had no marriage commitments made better soldiers. St. Valentine’s saw that what the emperor was wrong and decided to disobey him. As a result he was caught and the emperor ordered him to be killed.

While in captivity waiting to die, Valentine fell in love with a girl who was the daughter of the jailer. He wrote a message containing the words “From your Valentine” to her. This is how the “From your Valentine” expression started.

Pope Gelasius, perhaps, inspired by the brave action of St. Valentine of defying the emperor’s order, decided to have St. Valentine’s Day celebrated on February 14. Today, St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world.

Sources:

“Lupercalia, the True Origin of St. Valentine’s Day, http://www.meridiangraphics.net/lupercalia.htm (accessed January 10, 2010)

“The History of Valentine’s Day, (accessed January 10, 2010)

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