Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is an annual celebration of love and friendship. Every year, on February 14th we celebrate love by sending gifts and messages of love to our friends, family and loved ones. Couples send cards and flowers and spend time with each other to honor this special day. But why we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
The History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s day was named after a catholic priest who lived in Rome. St. Valentine was sent to prison for officiating secret marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. While in jail, he cured his jailer’s blind daughter, Asterius. It seems that before the execution, he sent a letter which he signed it with “your Valentine” as a sign of farewell. The priest was executed on 14 February, 270.
How did St. Valentine developed?
If you’re trying to learn why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that at the beginning it wasn’t really a celebration of love.
Lupercalia, the holiday celebrated in ancient Rome from 13 to 15 February, is the “ancestor” of St. Valentine’s Day today. On this day, there were many pagan fertility rituals, such as slaughtering a goat or flogging women. Prohibited by Pope Gelasius I in 494, this celebration was replaced by Valentine’s Day.
In Roman mythology, Valentine’s Day is associated with the image of Cupid, son of Venus, and the god of love.
Originally, the feast that celebrates the love of committed couples was in fact celebrated by bachelors. This day was an opportunity for young girls to hide in the dark alleys of their village, so that men would find them. Then, marriages took place.
The first celebration of Valentine’s day
The first time when love was celebrated on February 14 has been recorded in the XIV century, when the first writings of love appeared. The British began sending love notes entitled “My Valentine”. Geoffrey Chaucer mentions this in his writings folk festival in 1382.
The first box of chocolates decorated for Valentine’s Day occurred in the late 1800s, and the one who came up with this idea was Richard Cadbury, son of John Cadbury, the famous chocolate manufacturer.
Valentine’s Day in Contemporary Times
Now that you know why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it’s time to find out about some Valentine’s Day traditions around the world.
This day is usually celebrated by offering chocolates, gifts, flowers or by having a romantic dinner with a loved one. In other countries, however, the celebration of Valentine’s Day is a bit different.
In South Korea, women give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give chocolate to women on March 14 (White Day). In Vietnam, for example, there is another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in addition to those already known. Couple dress in the same style and/or in the same color. In Spain, only couples receive and give gifts. Friends and family are not included in the traditions of Valentine’s Day.
In other countries, such as Bangladesh, Nepal and India, not everyone is allowed to celebrate this day. Students can celebrate as they wish, but high school students are not allowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day.