What, Why, How: Origin, meaning and traditions to be observed on Valentine’s day

What, Why, How: Origin, meaning and traditions to be observed on Valentine's day
Disclaimer: This article will shock you with how unromantic the history of Valentine’s day is.

Some of us love mulling at the prospect of spending a whole day celebrating our partners, dare I say significant others. Others feel like the popular version of love has been commercialized and confused.

But regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, the “holiday of love” is one of the most popular traditions in the world.

Throughout the history of Valentine’s Day, people have used the holiday as an excuse to celebrate romantic love and passion.

These days, it’s also a time to celebrate PLATONIC love, with everyone from elementary-aged children to the elderly sharing valentines.

But this holiday didn’t just magically appear out of nowhere, and contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t invented by greeting card companies.

Valentine’s Day has a rich (and slightly morbid) history that you may not know about. (Laughs) Haha, so who the heck is St. Valentine’s and why do we have to gift people on a day named after him?

Things get complicated after here so buckle up on your reading…

Origin of Valentine’s Day

First, the simple answer: Valentine’s Day is named for St. Valentine. As it turns out, at least three Valentines were sainted by the Catholic Church, and each one has his own group of supporters claiming he’s behind the holiday.

The first St. Valentine was a rebel, defying a decree from the Roman Emperor Claudius II, which said young men were not allowed to be married and had to serve in the military instead. (The Romans believed single men made better soldiers.) St. Valentine continued to marry lovers in secret.

The second St. Valentine helped Christian prisoners escape Roman jails—until he was caught and imprisoned himself.

His last act before death was to miraculously heal the daughter of his jailer, thereby converting the whole family to Christianity.

In some versions of the story, St. Valentine II was even in love with the daughter, but their love was tragically cut short.

The third St. Valentine was a Catholic bishop in Terni. History hasn’t remembered much about him, and the stories of all three saints have become entwined over the centuries.

The story became so murky and confusing that, in 1969, the Catholic Church removed the St. Valentine’s feast day from the Christian liturgical calendar.

But there was one unfortunate thing all three men had in common besides their name. This short history class I’m giving you might make you reconsider uttering the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” on the 14th.

In an unromantic twist, all three St. Valentines were beheaded by different Roman emperors on February 14th (different years)…there you have it!

Meaning of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and affection between intimate companions, friends, and family members. It is a time to express feelings of love, gratitude, and admiration for the important people in one’s life.

Many people choose to celebrate the holiday by sending cards, gifts, or flowers to their loved ones.

Couples often celebrate by sharing a romantic dinner or taking a special trip together, while friends and family members may choose to spend time together to celebrate the holiday.

Valentine’s Day is also a time for reflection and appreciation for the important people in one’s life.

It is an opportunity to express gratitude for the love and support that has been received from friends, family members, and intimate companions.

Whether it is a significant other, a parent, a sibling, or a best friend, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the relationships that bring joy and happiness into our lives.

READ: Thee Pluto: List of properties and businesses owned by ‘Street Sanitiser’

Traditions observed on Valentine’s day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated with a variety of traditions that have become synonymous with this special holiday. Some of the most popular traditions include sending cards, gifts, and flowers.

Many people choose to express their love and affection through the use of sentimental messages, poems, or love letters.

With the advent of Social media apps, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter, you might just wake up to a beautiful phone message on the 14th.

One of the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day is a bouquet of red roses, which symbolize love and passion. Some couples also choose to exchange jewelry, such as necklaces or rings, as a symbol of their commitment to one another.

Chocolate is another popular gift for Valentine’s Day, and many people choose to give boxes of chocolates or sweet treats as a way of expressing their love.

About the Author
Joshua Kalata

Joshua Kalata

Actuary and Blogger

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