How Old Is The Girl With The Longest Name Now Valentines Day: Its History and Celebrations

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Valentines Day: Its History and Celebrations

VALENTINE / LOVE

Saint Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s Day, celebrated annually on February 14, is a traditional day when lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine’s Day wishes, sometimes anonymously. The most common sign of Valentine’s Day these days is the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines”. Popular modern day Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of a winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, mass-produced greeting cards have largely replaced handwritten notes. It is estimated that nearly a billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent around the world each year, making it only the second largest card-sending holiday after Christmas. It is estimated that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all “Valentines”.

Stories of Many Valentines

Opinions differ on who Saint Valentine was. Early martyrologies mention at least three Saint Valentines under the date of February 14. One is a priest in Rome, another bishop of Interamna (now Terni in Italy), and another lived and died in Africa. However, many are of the opinion that the first two are the same person.

However, it is widely believed that the holiday of Saint Valentine probably originates from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. On the 15th of February a festival was held in honor of one of their gods, Lupercus, who had been summoned by the Romans to avert the menaces of those wild wolves which roamed the adjoining woods. On the eve of the Lupercalia festival, a love lottery was held, in which the names of Roman girls were written on strips of paper and put into glasses. Each young man then drew a card, and the girl whose name he picked was supposed to be his sweetheart for the whole year.

The holiday subsequently became Valentine’s Day after a priest named Valentine. When Christianity was still a new religion, Valentine was a priest in Rome. The then emperor Claudius II. issued an order forbidding Roman soldiers to marry or become engaged. The emperor believed that once they were married, his soldiers would prefer to stay at home rather than fight in his wars. Valentin defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly married the young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned and beheaded on February 14, the eve of Lupercalia. Valentine was posthumously named a saint. As Christianity grew in Rome, the priests moved the feast of Lupercalia, or spring, from February 15 to February 14, Valentine’s Day. Since then, the holiday began to honor Saint Valentine instead of Luperc.

“Since Your Valentine”

According to another story, Valentine was one of the first Christians to be apprehended and dragged before a Roman prefect and imprisoned for helping some Christian martyrs. In prison, he cured the jailer’s daughter of blindness. When the emperor learned of this miracle, he ordered Valentine beheaded. Valentine is said to have sent the jailer’s daughter a farewell note signed “From your Valentine”.

In 1969, as part of a larger effort to reduce the number of holy days of purely legendary origin, the Church removed St. Valentine’s Day from its calendar as an official holiday. Currently, February 14th is dedicated only to St. Cyril and St. Methodius.

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