“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”
When George Sand, one of the most popular European writers, gave this quote, little did we know that it will become something we all will swear by.
As we live in a busy world, the only comforting thing is love that soothes our soul and purifies our heart. And, while love doesn’t need a single day to celebrate it, 7 days in February, followed by Valentine’s Day purely justifies this divine feeling.
Couples from across the globe celebrate V-Day with much love and great fervour but do you know the reason why this beautiful festival is celebrated and who was the man behind it? Well, here’s everything you need to know about this special day. So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down to get started.
History of Valentine’s Day
Well, you might be knowing that Valentine’s Day is being celebrated since forever now but do you know that its history dates way back. It was in the 5th century that February 14 was announced as Saint Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius and ever since we know it as the day of love.
Valentine’s Day has vestiges of both Roman as well as the Christian traditions.
Roman History of Valentine’s Day
This special day dedicated to relationships is a fixed date of the calendar that falls in mid-February. Centuries ago, even before the era of Saint Valentine, during this period only, Romans used to observe a festival called Lupercalia which celebrated fertility.
This festival followed a ritual wherein men and women had to pick chits (with names written over it) from a jar and had to pair up with the one whose name was written on it.
Another legend suggests that Ancient Greece, which was initially a part of the Roman Empire, also celebrated a festival on these lines. The Greeks, back then, used to celebrate a mid-winter festival to observe the wedding of Goddess Hera and Lord Zeus.
As per the historians, these festivals played a major role in the way V-Day shaped up and it is, undeniably, influenced by both these festivals.
Christian History of Valentine’s Day
Although the real history of Saint Valentine is still unknown to the world, there are multiple legends in Christianity which suggest the many reasons why St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated.
One of the prime legends has it that 2 different saints named Valentinus or Valentine, as recognized by the Catholic Church, were martyred. What exactly happened was that Priest Valentine was in his service in the 3rd century. During that period, Emperor Claudius II banned young men of getting married as, according to him, better soldiers could be made out of single men than those who are married.
This didn’t go down well with Saint Valentine who found this law unjust. Defying the Emperor, he continued to perform marriage for lovers secretly. When Claudius II came to know of this, he demanded his death.
Apparently, when his people told him that the law was broken not by Saint Valentine he put to death, but the one in Terni, Italy, he then ordered to behead him as well.
Since Saint Valentine went out of his way to help lovers, Valentine’s Day is observed to celebrate what he believed in the most, love. However, this is not the only legend associated with this day.
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Another popular folklore is that the Saint was killed because he helped innocent Christians escape from the prisons of Rome where they were tortured and beaten. It is said that when he was imprisoned, he fell in love with a young girl who was, apparently, the daughter of the jailer and used to visit him during his days in jail.
Before dying, he wrote a letter to the love of his life and signed it as “From Your Valentine”. This expression is used to date by the lovers on V-Day.
Although we know nothing as to which legend is true for the origin of Valentine's Day, they all portray him as a kind, heroic and, above all, a romantic man.
Some Unknown and Fun Valentine’s Day Facts
- Latest studies suggest that over one-third of men are okay with not receiving a gift from their lover on V-Day
- In 1913, Hallmark mass-produced Valentine’s Day greeting cards and became the first one to do so.
- You would be surprised to know that, profession-wise, teachers get the most number of greeting cards on this day, followed by children, mothers, wives and girlfriends.
- Valentine’s Day is the second day in the world when the most number of cards are purchased, number one being Christmas.
- In the US, on an average, a man spends nearly $130 on V-Day on gifts, women, on the other hand, spend $70.
Traditions of Valentine’s Day Across the Globe
While in India, we have witnessed lovers express their love on this day in the most beautiful ways possible, there are some countries in the world that celebrate the day following some unique customs and traditions. Read on for the details.
Apart from expressing love for their love interest, the women of the country literally wear their hearts on their sleeves by pinning the name of their crush or lover on one of the sleeves. That is also one of the ways how men there get to know about their secret admirers.
The Danish people exchange with their loved ones snowdrops (compressed white flowers) along with a ‘lover’s card’ which is a V-Day card with heart-felt emotions written over it.
They initially celebrated the day as spring festival wherein lovers gathered in parks and gardens for poem recitations after which they used to take strolls with their partner. But now, Italians go for dinner dates to celebrate the day of love with great gusto. One of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts they give is Baci Perugina which are hazelnut dipped in liquid chocolate and wrapped in a paper that has a sweet message written over it.
While the country celebrates V-Day as any other western country, the new trend there, which is becoming popular for a few years now, is people getting married en masse on this day. Those who are already married be a part of this gathering to renew their wedding vows.
Valentine’s Day Week 2020 Dates Schedule Full List
February 07 – Rose Day
February 08 – Propose Day
February 09 – Chocolate Day
February 10 – Teddy Day
February 11 – Promise Day
February 12 – Hug Day
February 13 – Kiss Day
February 14 – Valentine’s Day
Now, that we have shared with you all the details of this festival, wait no more to impress the love of your life.
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