Valentine's Day

Christmas and The New Year’s Eve have just passed, and Valentine’s Day is about to come. The season of holidays is always magical, especially when the holidays are this close. The festive mood never stops and the people you love the most are always around. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a big Valentine’s Day fan or not, but you have to admit that this day has a rich and colourful history. This history is even more interesting when you realize how much mystery revolves around it. Many legends can be found about Valentine’s Day and here are listed some of them.

How did it all start?

When the beginnings of Valentine's Day are concerned, it is known that there was a festivity held in mid-February even in ancient Rome. The holiday was known for another name – Lupercalia. This was celebrated usually on February 15, and it was a fertility festival, dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture and Romulus and Rem, as well. 

This may come as a surprise to those believing that the date of Valentine’s Day symbolizes the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial. The festival Lupercalia was held in a sacred cave where the founders of Rome, Romulus and Rem were believed to have been found by a she-wolf. The name of the festival originates from the Latin word for she-wolf – Lupa.

The festival included the sacrifice of the goat and the dog. The goat was sacrificed for fertility and the dog for purification. Crop fields and women were later slapped gently with the goat hide. It was believed that the touch of the goat hide would make both women and fields more fertile in the coming year. 

After all this, the young women would place their names in an urn that city's bachelors would later choose. This ritual often resulted in marriage. There's another possible festival that may be the origin of Valentine's Day. Some historians claim that the festival in Ancient Greece has influenced our holiday. Namely, ancient Greeks used to celebrate the marriage of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera in winter.

Why do we celebrate it?

The rise of Christianity resulted in Lupercalia being outlawed. Somewhere at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. The holiday became more associated with love in the Middle Ages when people noticed that birds' mating season started on February 14. This was enough to harden the proof that this holiday is the best time to celebrate love. St. Valentine's Day as a day of romance was first recorded in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem “Parliament of Foules”.

The written Valentine’s greetings didn’t appear until 1400. A poem by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife is the oldest valentine known. He wrote to her when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. There is a legend that King Henry V hired a writer to compose a valentine note. The rituals of sending valentine cards have become very popular nowadays. 

Valentine’s Day is the most loved holiday and it deserves all the attention it’s been receiving for many centuries. The cards followed by valentine's day flowers are bound to make anyone feel special and loved, and there is no better occasion to show someone your affection than Valentine’s Day.

Who was Saint Valentine?

The truth is that we don’t know much about the history of Valentine’s Day. The association between the holiday and Saint Valentine may be one of the least known pieces of information. The legends of Saint Valentine are numerous. One of them says that Valentine was a priest who served in Rome during the time of Emperor Claudius II. 

After the Emperor decided that single men are better soldiers, he outlawed marriage for young men. As a result of this act, Valentine started performing marriages for young lovers in secret, since he believed that the decree was unfair. Claudius discovered what was going on and ordered Valentine’s death.

Some other stories suggest that the Valentine in question is Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was also beheaded by Claudius II. Another legend says that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons, where they were tortured. 

There is one particularly interesting legend that says that an imprisoned Valentine was the one who sent the first "valentine" greeting. According to the legend, he sent it to the young girl he fell in love with and who visited him during the confinement. He signed a letter “From your Valentine,” which is an expression still used today. No matter the legend, they all have some common parts. In all of them, Valentine was heroic and romantic, and that is why he is celebrated today.

What is the meaning of Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day is best known as a commercial holiday. Throughout history, it's been a religious celebration and an ancient ritual day too. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be any of these things at all. It can be whatever you want it to be. You don't have to celebrate it at all, you can buy chocolate for your best friend, or you can spend it with a significant other. The truth is that as long you’re showing love or affection to someone, you’re celebrating it.

The fact that Valentine's Day can be whatever you want it to be is amazing. Of you don't have any ideas on how to spend it, surrounding yourself with the people you love is never a bad choice. There are no rules; you can celebrate this day even just through self-love. If you decide to celebrate on your own, or with someone else, you can cook a fancy meal or go see a fun movie. You can even throw a Valentine’s Day party and help everyone have the best time. 


Valentine's Day is one of the holidays most people like, even if they aren't religious. The holiday's positive note and romantic feelings are the reasons we love it so much. It’s no surprise we still celebrate it after so many centuries and it’s become popular all over the globe.