Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated?

Why Valentine's Day is celebrated

February 14 is celebrated worldwide as Valentine’s Day, and with the Valentine week already started, every couple remotely capable would be at least thinking, if not doing something to make their partner feel good, special, loved, wanted and other such abstracts. The week is completely consumed by romance and ardour starting from February 07 (Rose day) and going on till February 14 (Valentine’s Day).

Along with all the love (and desire) we muster for our better halves, it would be such a downer (or let’s say ignorance) if somebody asked why are we doing all of this? Why now?

Let’s scrutinize the situation and talk about something we already know, so Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14 every year where couples loathe each other with gifts, surprises and much more (Let’s not talk about that right now), and the week starting from February 7 till February 14 is known as Valentine’s Week with each day dedicated to surprise your valentine at whole new level.

February 07: Rose Day

February 08: Propose Day

February 09: Chocolate Day

February 10: Teddy Day

February 11: Promise Day

February 12: Hug day

February 13: Kiss Day

February 14: Valentine’s Day

That’s pretty much it. That’s what everybody knows, that’s what I knew before I planned to write something about it! Did you know, St Valentine actually died on the day? Yes, the same day you are planning to take your girlfriend out on a romantic getaway. So let’s look what St. Valentine’s Day is actually all about?

Where did Valentine’s Day come from?

There are numerous theories and beliefs associated to Valentine’s Day. As the history of Valentine’s Day stretches back to 4th century and beyond, there is no exact explanation as to why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, although connecting the dots from all the pieces of literature of that period available to us, there are following legends associated with it.

Legend I:

  • Saint Valentine was a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for assisting ill-treated Christians.
  • Romans passed laws and edicts to force people who lived in the Roman Empire to worship Roman Gods and strictly enforced to abide by the traditional religious practice of Rome.
  • Saint Valentine was captured as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. However, Claudius was impressed by St. Valentine and tried to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life.
  • Valentine refused and instead tried to convert Claudius to Christianity. Following which, he was executed.
  • Just before his execution, he is said to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius.
  • The jailer’s daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) came to believe in Jesus and were baptized.
  • On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first “valentine” card himself, addressing Julia, who was no longer blind, and signed the card as “Your Valentine.” The expression “From your Valentine” is even now adopted by modern Valentine letters.

Legend II:

  • According to another legend, the Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade soldier marriage in order to grow his army even more. He believed that married men did not make good soldiers.
  • Saint Valentine opposed this and performed secretChristian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Later, when the emperor found out, St Valentine was sentenced to death.
  • As the legend goes, “to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine cut hearts from parchment“, handing them over to the soldiers and captured Christians,  and hence giving a possible origin to the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day.

What is Valentine’s Day connection with Romantic Love?

Irrespective of the legend, Since February 14, the day St. Valentine’s was hanged to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius II, he has been remembered by Christians through-out the years.

  • The history of Valentine’s Day and its connection to romance associated can be traced back to Ancient England of 14th century where the literary conception of nobility and chivalry flourished, in which knights would set out on adventures and perform various services for ladies.
  • However, the celebration of St Valentine did not have any romantic implications till Chaucer’s poetry about “Valentines” in the 14th century.

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day

Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”

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