Every year on February 14, people around the world celebrate Valentines Day. People give gifts, buy chocolate, give cards and generally share in a feeling of mutual love. But where exactly do these traditions come from?
According to History.com Valentines Day may have it's roots in 3 different ideologies.
1. St. Valentine - The Man
According to the catholic.org, St. Valentine did indeed exist, but his life and ultimate identity leaves a lot of room for interpretation. His life is shrouded in mystery and filled with a few different interpretations. Many of which surround
him as a great purveyor of love. St. Valentine is deemed to have lived during the Roman era and married many young people despite marriage being outlawed during that time. You could say he was a romantic and believed in love, mostly due to his belief in Christianity.
2. Lupercalia - The Pagan Festival
Other's believe that Valentine's day came about in an effort to undermine the Pagan festival of Lupercalia, a fertility festival in Rome. The festival was a celebration of Spring and included traditions to increase women's fertility during the upcoming year. The fertility traditions also included women putting their names into a raffle, where young men throughout the city would choose names for a "mate" during the following year. History.com claims that these pairings usually ended in marriage.
3. Bird's Mating Season - A Day of Love
Probably the most believable of the three opinions is that during the middle ages, people came to believe that birds would mate in the middle of February. In England and France, they believed that because of this the middle of February should be reserved for romance. Some of the oldest Valentine's greetings date back to the 1400's.
Today many people give gifts, write letters, buy chocolate, or go on a romantic dinner date. Some even believe valentines day is an elaborate hoax crafted by hallmark, but it still remains a day set aside to romance and appreciate the person you love most in your life. Which ideology do you believe?