February 14th... Do you ever wonder since when this special day, on which people exchange gifts of love has been celebrated? There is actually a very different historical side to Valentine’s Day, which is very special to some while some believe it is entirely for commercial purposes. In this article, we will share with you the historical aspect of Valentine’s Day. Let see if this special day has anything to do with romance and love at all...
Valentine’s Day is older than Christianity
Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition. The roots of the tradition is believed to have come from a festival that lasted three days, named Lupercalia in the Roman period. This festival was held in the middle of February in honor of the god of fertility, and at the same time, it was heralding the arrival of spring. One of the celebrations held during the festival was that boys would pull the names of girls from a box. As a result of this match, some would become couples and even sometimes end up marrying each other. However centuries later the church wanted to put an end to these celebrations and renamed the festival “Saint Valentine”.
Who is Saint Valentine?
Centuries later, we said that celebrations were being organized on behalf of Saint Valentine, who is this Saint Valentine?
On February 14, 496, Pope Gelasius announced the first official St. Valentine's Day. Although it is known that he is a martyr, it is not known exactly who. An opinion on who St. Valentine was, that he was a priest in Rome and was killed. But there are two other Saint Valentines killed on the same date. There is not much known about these three different Saint Valentines; but the priest, who was still killed in Rome, is the most accepted among these beliefs.
On Valentine’s Day people send each other cards because...
The reason for this ritual is believed to be based on a rather painful one. Emperor II. Claudius banned marriage to the public because he believes married men are bad soldiers. But Valentine keeps marrying people secretly because he believes that marriage is something God desires. After a while, Claudius notices this and sentences Valentine to jail.
While Valentine is in jail, he falls in love with a guardian's daughter. And the date of execution was already determined: February 14th. On the day of his execution, Valentine sends a love letter to the woman he loves and signs it “Your Valentine”. It is in this story that people send love cards to each other on Valentine’s Day.
Even though it is thought that Valentine’s Day celebrations are based on very old periods, exchanging of gifts is actually carried out during and after the Middle Age. In the Middle Ages, it was already quite common to give a card to someone you loved. Because the industrial revolution in the 19th century made mass production possible the cards became a big commercial commodity. By the year 1916, the company named Hallmark began mass production and caused the celebrations to take today’s shape. It is known that Hallmark is now able to sell 132 million cards on Valentine’s Day. So this special day, which is actually celebrated all over the world, is both a big business field and a piece of a big industry...
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