Valentine Day is a special day for lovers who share their thoughts and feelings for each other via greeting cards or other modes of communication. It is a day of love.
What is Valentine’s Day?
St Valentine’s Day happens to be an annual festival in order to celebrate romantic love, friendship, and admiration. Every year on 14 February people do celebrate this day by sending messages of love and affection to their respective partners, family, and friends. Couples tend to spend Valentine’s Day cards and flowers and also spend precious time together to honor their love for each other. Valentine’s day, valentine week, lovers day
The Early History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who did live in Rome in the 3rd Century. There are several stories about St Valentine and over time these stories do grow into the legend we know today.
At the time of Valentine’s life, several Romans were converting to Christianity, but Emperor Claudius II was a pagan and rather created strict laws about what Christians were allowed to do. Claudius did believe that Roman soldiers need to be completely devoted to Rome and therefore a law was passed which prevented them from marrying. St Valentine began to marry these soldiers in secret Christian ceremonies and this was the start of his reputation for believing in the importance of love.
Eventually, Valentine did find out and jailed for his crimes against Claudius. While imprisoned, Valentine did care for his fellow prisoners and also his jailor’s blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine did cure the girl’s blindness and that his final act before being executed was to write her a love message signed ‘from your Valentine’. Valentine was executed on 14 February in the year 270. Valentine’s day, valentine’s week, lovers day is a special occasion.
How did Valentine’s Day develop?
It was not until more than 200 years later that 14 February was proclaimed St Valentine’s Day. By this time Rome had indeed become Christian and the Catholic Church was determined to stamp out any remaining paganism. A pagan fertility ritual was rather held in February each year and the Pope abolished this festival and proclaimed 14 February Saint Valentine’s Day, thus establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
The poet Chaucer in the Middle Ages was the foremost to link St Valentine with romantic love. This was the beginning of the tradition of courtly love, a ritual of expressing love as well as admiration, usually in secret. This custom does spread throughout Europe and stories grew about a High Court of Love where female judges would rather rule on issues related to love on 14 February each year. Historians do believe that these meetings were in fact gatherings where people read love poetry and played games of flirtation.
Valentine’s Day Symbols
The practice of sending love messages did develop into people sending special cards expressing their affection. These cards were beautiful creations handmade by the sender and individually designed in order to show how much they loved the recipient. Cards would usually contain sentimental verse, proclaiming the beauty of the receiver and how much they were loved. Valentine’s day, valentine week, lovers day
Saint Valentine’s Day cards were decorated with pictures of cupid, hearts as well as flowers and trimmed with lace and ribbon. These images are still made use of today to symbolize love and are recognized all across the world.
What is Valentine’s Day in Contemporary Times?
No doubt Valentine’s Day is indeed celebrated in most countries. Different cultures have developed their own traditions for this festival. In some parts of the world, Valentine’s Day is rather observed as a day for expressing love between family members as well as friends, rather than that of romantic couples.
Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with romantic love, and cards are exchanged each year. Gifts of flowers or a single red rose are sent with romantic messages to loved ones. Couples spend time together. Valentine’s day, valentine’s week, lovers day is celebrated with lots of fervor.