The History of Valentine’s Day


On Feb. 14 of every year, those with significant others give gifts to each other and celebrate their love. As we commemorate Valentine’s Day with chocolate or candy given to our loved ones, it is only imperative that we wonder where this tradition stems from.

According to Britannica, Valentine’s Day, or St. Valentine’s Day, gets its start from the, “Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February.” The festival invited the coming of spring and included many fertility rituals as well as a pairing of men and women. This would often result in marriage and offspring.

Although the direct origins are vague, “Valentine’s Day” was not celebrated as we know it today until the 14th century.

There are many unconfirmed legends about Christian martyrs who swindled women into marriage or courtship.

Valentine’s, or love notes, were cards that had a sweet message to an intended person and appeared in the late 1500s. They were popular amongst bachelors who had a specific person in mind when they read the note.

Cupid, the Roman god of love, was often linked to Valentine’s Day. His love arrow was meant to be shot at a girl who a bachelor liked, making her fall in love with him.

The very first commercial Valentine cards “in the United States were printed in the mid-1800s.” These would include messages such as, “Love you,” or, “You’re sweet.”

Traditional gifts of flowers, chocolates, jewelry and cards are what we know today as Valentine gifts. The holiday is popular in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In the Philippines, it is the most common wedding anniversary, as a mass amount of people get married on the day.

While some celebrate the holiday with a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, Valentine’s Day is a day to appreciate the love for yourself and one another.