Valentine’s Day History

How Did Valentine’s Day Come About?

A day of romance, a day of love… we’ve all come to know Valentine’s Day as the day to express our love to our loved ones, to purchase chocolates, flowers, gifts and soppy cards. But how did it all come about, and who is the mystery St. Valentine?

Valentine’s Day gets its name of course from St. Valentine, a famous Saint, but there are several stories of who he was, and no-one is 100% sure.

The most popular belief names St. Valentine as a priest in Rome in the third century AD who allegedly arranged marriages in secret behind Emperor Claudius II’s back.

Claudius had banned marriage as he thought un-married soldiers equalled better soldiers.

When he found out that Valentine had disobeyed him, he quickly had him arrested and sentenced to death in jail.

However, whilst in jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailor’s daughter and when he was taken to his death on February 14th, he sent her a final love letter signed, “from your Valentine”.

So that helps to clear up the reason behind sending love letters and naming our Valentines, but what about the day as a whole?

Well, Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition (the earliest one recorded in the year 496!) and is thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia.

The festival Lupercalia, celebrated in the middle of February, marked the start of the springtime, and it is thought that as part of the celebrations, boys and girls were matched up to be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival – sometimes they’d even end up getting married!

Later down the line, the Christian church wanted to get in on the festivities and decided to turn the festival into a Christian celebration and also use it as a day to remember St Valentine.

So not so much of love and hearts but the sentiment is in there!

We hope that whatever you do, you have a lovely Valentine’s Day.