Valentine’s Day: A Celebration of Love and Friendship
February 14 marks one of the most beloved holidays for couples around the world – Valentine’s Day. This day of love and friendship has been celebrated for centuries and is known for its romantic traditions. But have you ever wondered why Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th?
The Origin of Valentine’s Day
Although there are various versions of the origin of Valentine’s Day, the most well-known version dates back to the 3rd century AD. It has to do with a famous Saint of the Catholic Church who was known for secretly marrying couples in love in ancient Rome. His name was ‘Valentine’.
Back in those times, Emperor Claudius II prohibited the marriage of couples. But Valentine continued his work of uniting couples in love, in secret. When authorities found out about this, Valentine was sentenced to death and was executed on February 14, 240.
The Popularity of Valentine’s Day
Even though Valentine’s Day had its roots in the 3rd century, it was not celebrated until more than two hundred years later. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius I decreed February 14th as Valentine’s Day, in honor of the deceased Saint.
Before his death, Valentine wrote one last letter to a blind young woman named Julia whom he had been teaching to read. He signed the letter as ‘From your Valentine’. This started the tradition of sending love letters and exchanging gifts on Valentine’s Day.
In the 15th century, the custom of writing letters between lovers and signing them as ‘San Valentin’ became popular. Mass production of Valentine’s Day cards began in the 19th century in Great Britain, marking the beginning of another tradition that has been commercialized to this day.
Unique Celebrations Around the World
While Valentine’s Day has become a global celebration, there are some countries that do not celebrate it on February 14th. Colombia, for example, celebrates it in September, while Brazil celebrates it in June.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is cherished by couples and singles alike. It has a rich history filled with legends and traditions that have been celebrated for centuries. Whether you choose to exchange gifts or simply spend time with your loved ones, Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to celebrate love and friendship.