Valentine’s day has been celebrated for thousands of years but it was not always about love. Over the years it has morphed and evolved its traditions. Stemming from religion, it’s now a date that has almost no religious meaning and people of all backgrounds use it as a way to display their affection for their partners.
Beginning with Pagan roots, Valentine’s Day was through to originate from an old Roman ritual called Lupercalia which was to celebrate fertility. Animals were sacrificed and women were smacked by animal hides since this was thought to increase fertility. Not very romantic, huh. However, the holiday started to have more romantic roots as a celebration of St. Valentine, a man who wedded young soldiers in the name of love during a time where marriage in the military was illegal. In the 1300s, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as the official day of St. Valentine’s day – a celebration of love.
In 1415, the first recorded Valentine was sent by a French duke to his wife while he was imprisoned. Sending a love poem, he penned his love for her to read. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s when sending valentines became popular in the masses. During this time, people started to exchange cards and gifts to express their love which brings us to our modern celebrations.
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