Today In History: 14th February Celebration of Valentine’s Day

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On this day, the celebration of Valentine’s Day is believed to date back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Lupercalia was held in mid-February to venerate fertility and the coming of spring.

The 8th-century Gelasian Sacramentary recorded the celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine on February 14. The festival involved various rituals, including the exchange of love notes which may have been the precursor to the modern practice of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards.

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14.

In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire had become a predominantly Christian state and the Church sought to replace pagan festivals with Christian holidays.

To this end, the Catholic Church declared 14 February as Saint Valentine’s Day, in honor of a Christian martyr named Valentine who was believed to have been executed on that day.

Over time, Saint Valentine became associated with love and romance, and the holiday evolved into a day to celebrate romantic love. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the tradition of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day became more widespread, and the first Valentine’s Day cards were sent.

The holiday continued to gain popularity and by the 19th century it had become a widely recognised event, celebrated with the exchange of gifts and love notes.

The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the “lovebirds” of early spring.

In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.

Source: AS.com , Britannica, Wikipedia.