Valentine’s Day celebrates romance, love and affection between couples and hope to be couples. Customarily the exchange of flowers, chocolates and other gifts occurs on February 14th each year.
How and Why did this custom develop?
The Roman Fertility Festival Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February each year. Emperor Claudius II banned young men from marrying sometime before 270 A.D believing that single men made better soldiers. Young love would not be stopped and a sympathetic temple priest named Valentine would secretly marry young couples. When this was found out, Claudius II had Valentine publicly beheaded in 270 A.D. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius I proclaimed Valentine a Saint and declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day replacing the Pagan Lupercalia Festival. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, lovers and happy marriages.
Much much later, the exchanging of cards and chocolates on this day became popular in England and spread to North America where commercial drivers to sell cards, chocolates and flowers proved an economic bonanza that spread worldwide.
Think of and enjoy your loved ones today! Happy Valentine’s Day!