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The History Of Valentine’s Day Essay

1018 words - 4 pages

Valentine's Day, a day when people around the world celebrates and show love, affection and friendship to the ones they love, however, not many people really know how this day really appeared and how it was used to celebrate. To find out how this romantic day began and the way how it was celebrated, will need to trace back all the way to Ancient Rome and also to the 3rd Century. What's more is that there was also a contrast saying towards the origin.There are several interesting legends involved in the history of Valentine's Day, one of which occurred in Ancient Roman time and the other during the 3rd century. To begin, the history of Valentine's Day goes a long way back to the Ancient Roman times. Back then; February was believed to be the beginning of Spring, which was a time for purification. Houses would be swept and cleansed. The inside of the house was then sprinkled by salt and a type of wheat called spelt ("The History of Valentine's Day", 2004). Following on, in the middle of this month, a pagan Lupercalia festival was held (Farmer, 1978: 388). Some sources said the festival was dedicated to Juno, the pagan goddess of Love and Marriage and was celebrated on the 14th of February ("Valentine's Day 2004", 2003) while other sources believe it occurred on the 15th of February to honor Faunus, the Roman God of agriculture, and also to Romulus and Remus, the Roman founders ("The History of Valentine's Day", 2004). Nevertheless, the way of celebrating this festival was practically the same.Today, people celebrate Valentine's Day by exchanging cards and gifts, but back then, the way this day was celebrated was by what was known as the "Roman Lottery", which was later thought to be 'unchristian' and forbidden. On this day of celebration, young women would put their names in a big urn which would later be drawn out or chosen by a young men. The name that's been drawn out, pair up with whoever drew the name out and the couple would be together for a year, which usually ends up in marriage ("The History of Valentine's Day", 2004). As time passed, Rome slowly became a very Christianized culture (Chu, 2004), thus, in 498 A.D., Pope Gelasias changed February 14th from the "name drawing" custom to Valentine's Day, in order to commemorate Saint Valentine as well as to end the pagan celebration ("Valentine's Day 2004", 2003).Another legend that's widely believed today is the legend of Saint Valentine, the saint that's known to be connected to this romantic day. According to legend, there might have been two Valentines. One who was a Bishop of Terni, a town in central Italy, who was put to death for his Christian beliefs by Emperor Claudius II, the ruler at that time ("Valentine's Day 2004", 2003). The exact date of Valentine, Bishop of Terni, being executed were unsure, some historians said it was on 250 A.D. while some books stated 269 or 270 A.D. (Hadnot, 2004). The other Valentine was said to be a priest and doctor during the 3rd century when Rome was...

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