- Holidays and Celebrations
Valentine’s Day – A Day for Love of All Kinds
Origins of St Valentines Day
On the 14th day of February, every year since the Roman Empire – and some say even before – the day of love called Valentine’s Day rolls around, and many people all over the world think about the people they love.
In times long gone, it was solely a time for romantic love; but today, it is understood as a time for the love of friends, family, and lovers.
Oftentimes, we commemorate the day by sending valentines (heartfelt messages) to these special people.In times past, valentines were always made, and in times really past, they were sung or symbolized, because most people couldn’t read or write at the time.
Usually, a valentine card is the least someone would expect to get; they are most commonly accompanied by gifts and presents like chocolates and roses.
However, it's important to remember that happiness and desire can't be purchased (not real and lasting anyway!), so the best gifts can come from the heart and consist of an evening alone or an original poem. Chocolates and gift baskets are really just icing on the cake.
Despite the grandiosity of the festivities that transpire on the 14th of February, it isn’t actually a holiday at all, as the open government offices and businesses will attest, but it is still a very special day, and treated as such.
What do you think of Valentines Day?
Strange Holiday Parallels
Before the rise of Christianity, Romans had a certain holiday that they celebrated on the 15th of February, marked by many actions quite similar to the Valentine's Day we celebrate today on the 14th of February.
Their celebration revolved around one of their many ancient gods – which were really the Greek gods, given Roman names – and young men just so happened to think seriously about romantic love in those times, heralding the return of spring.
A custom they had was to mix the names of young women they fancied in a bowl; whichever one he picked would presumably be the one he was supposed to court.
The coincidence of the similarity of some of the things the Romans did on this day isn’t really happenstance at all; when the Christianity reigned, they borrowed some of these customs from the Romans and wove a new origin for them.
For a much more comprehensive look at some of the things surrounding Valentines Day, feel free to check us out here.
Who Was Valentine
Once upon a time, long ago, there lived an extremely pious man, who ostensibly became a priest of some renown.
Although there are several stories about how he became a saint, they all point to the same punch-line: Valentine’s Day is because of him – according to Christianity.
One of the stories had that Valentine aided young soldiers and the women they loved in sealing their marriage; which is all well and good except such an action was forbidden by none other than the king.
So Valentine broke the law, which was instituted because the king desired only unmarried soldiers, for purposes of war.
Since Valentine lived in the 3rd century, we all know what happened to him for disobeying the king’s orders: he became 'Saint' Valentine shortly thereafter.
The next possible story in which our friend Valentine was involved didn’t end so well for him on earth, either.
His crime this time was that he failed to relinquish his Christian faith, despite the order of the king to bow to the Roman gods.
Upon the imprisonment of this man of great resolve, he was visited by the blind daughter of a prison guard, who faithfully and relentlessly came to see him during every visiting hour allowed.
As the time of his death drew near, Valentine is said to have written her a letter, signed “Your Valentine".
Some stories say that when she opened the letter, her sight was restored (a wonderful story, though I find it hard to believe, as the same stories say she was blind from birth, so how can her sight be “restored!?”).
Others leave out the supernatural bit, and merely say it was the first valentine. He was executed at the king’s order on February 14th, but Saint Valentines name will likely live forever - the memory of his sacrifice persists.