St. Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 14th of Fabruary

St. Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 14th of Fabruary

St. Valentine's day is traditionally celebrated on the 14th of Fabruary. The history of Valentine's Day is obscure, and further clouded by various fanciful legends.

13.02.2014

The history of Valentine's Day is obscure, and further clouded by various fanciful legends. The holiday's roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day about 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.

Most scholars believe that St. Valentine holiday was named after a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. At this stage the factual ends and the mythic begins. According to one legend, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies but was eventually apprehended by the Romans and put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed "from your Valentine." In 1969 the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calendar removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St. Valentine was one of the casualties.

The holiday was celebrated since the 14th century. Over the centuries the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine's cards did not become widespread in the United States, however until the 1850s when Esther A. Howland, a Mount Holyoke graduate, began mass-producing them.

Each country has its own peculiarities in celebrating St. Valentine’s Day. Americans present marzipan to their beloved. British congratulate even their pets with colorful valentines. Men in Japan get chocolate gifts from women. The French prefer to give jewelry. In Denmark it is the fashion to send dried white flowers as a gift. In Italy pastry is the main present. In Finland not only beloved get gifts, but also mothers celebrate their holiday. And only in Saudi Arabia celebration of Valentine's Day is prohibited under penalty of fine.

We congratulate all who love and who are loved! Let your love be mutual!