Valentine’s Day (February 14) is finally here and love is on everyone’s mind. On this day, couples celebrate their romantic relationship and surprise each other with flowers, chocolates, candy and jewellery. The day, filled with immense love and joy, is celebrated by lovers all over the world! So, how did February 14 become the universal day of love? The story of Valentine’s Day dates back centuries ago and will surprise you.
History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s day is named after Saint Valentine, a priest in Rome during the third century A.D.
St. Valentine gained prominence due to his rivalry with a cruel king named Claudius II, who hated love affairs and marriage. The king wanted to create an efficient army and believed soldiers with families would be too distracted to fight on the battlefield. Thus, he banned all soldiers in his kingdom from getting married. Everyone bowed down to his demands except St. Valentine, who was against this order and as an act of rebellion, the priest began getting soldiers married in secret. When the king found out about this, Valentine was put in jail for going against King Claudius’ will.
What is the significance of February 14?
February 14 was the day St. Valentine was executed in jail by Claudius in the year 270. Before his execution, he had written a love letter to the tailor’s daughter as Valentine had fallen in love with her during his time in jail. He signed off the letter with the phrase ‘from your Valentine’ and that’s where the concept of ‘your valentine’ comes from. Two centuries later, in February 498 A.D, the Pope announced February 14 as Valentine’s Day as a tribute to the priest. Keep in mind that the day didn’t have romantic significance then. Rather, it had religious significance. The Pope, in an effort to replace Paganism, had abolished a February pagan festival and proclaimed February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.
When did Valentine’s Day get associated with love?
V-Day got linked to love for the first time by a poet named Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages. This new understanding was well-received by the public and courtly love, a ritual of expressing love and admiration came into existence. However, in the early days, courting was a very hush-hush activity. With time, this idea of courting became popular in Europe and stories grew about a High Court of Love where female judges would discuss and rule on love-related issues every February 14. Some historians interpret these meetings as gatherings where people recited romantic poetry and played flirtatious games. Soon, people were writing love letters to each other on this day, which then evolved to Valentine’s Day cards and traditional gifts such as roses, chocolates, soft toys, etc. Now everyone has their own special way of tugging at their partner’s heartstrings on this dreamy day!