Valentine’s Day Origins and Celebration: The Origins of a Popular Event at a Glance

It’s Valentine’s day again!

Some are firmly convinced Valentine’s is the celebration of romance, some others think it is yet another marketing tool whilst others just go with the flow (specially if their sweetheart is of the first opinion). The reality is that Valentine’s is inescapable.

What are Valentine’s Day Origins?

As for any questions of that kind, opinions vary. The most common version dates back from the good old days in 269 A.D when St. Valentine died in jail, martyred by Emperor Claudius as he refused to give up on Christianity. How does such a sad event become a symbol of a celebration of love? He died on the 14th of February, which was in fact the day devoted to love lotteries.

Love lotteries were a very popular tradition in Roman empire to celebrate Juno, the Goddess of women and marriage. The name of every single girl in the village would be written down on a small piece of paper, then all these pieces of paper were put together into a jar from which every young man would have to draw a name. Whichever lucky girl’s name was drawn would be the partner of that young man for the duration of the festivities. The aim of love lotteries was to favor marriage.

Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter and signed it “From your Valentine”. It is not clear whether she was a friend or whether Valentine actually fell in love with her. This note would anyhow explain the subsequent tradition of sending Valentines cards.

What is Valentine’s Day Today?

Love lotteries have nowadays disappeared. The importance of Valentine’s day varies greatly around the world. In the United States Valentine’s day is a very popular occasion. Its scope has broadened: now it’s not just about letters to sweethearts and spouses but also about appreciation of family and friends in a larger way.

In many other countries, Valentine’s day is still the celebration of romantic love between two sweethearts. Because Valentine’s day is not that much anchored into its tradition, it is often viewed as a big commercial event more than anything else.

But in every country, the tradition is pretty much the same. Valentine’s day involves writing a card, giving flowers, organizing a romantic dinner and giving a special gift to express love.

Lastly, Valentine’s day is often chosen by lovers to propose to their sweethearts.

The origins of Valentine’s day are not clearly determined. But wherever the tradition of sending letters comes from, it has lived through centuries and spread around the globe. To that extent, Valentine’s day can be viewed as a nice way to bring people together.

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