Sunday, February 14, 2010

The History of Valentine's Day

"Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred."

"While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial — which probably occurred around 270 A.D — others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus."

(Above taken from this site, where you can read the rest of the article, since all I've posted here is the first paragraph and another one from further down in the article).

Happy Valentine's Day!



Deanna said...

That was interesting Tori. Personally I think Valentines Day is over-rated as a holiday. Somehow I don't like anyone telling me it is time to spend more money, which in my opinion is what it is all about these days. But I do wish people Happy Valentine's day! So.... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Louise said...

Happy Valentine's Day xx

AliceKay said...

I hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day.

Toriz said...

I think most things are more about money than anything else these days. *Sigh*

Intense Guy said...

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

I guess February is when animals start to "feel their oats" with spring on the way - and for humans tired of the dark and dreary - romance is so nice. :)