Today, we know Valentine's Day is all about the celebrating the glory of relationships, or it is the perfect opportunity to declare your feelings for another. We mark this momentous day with gifts such as chocolates, jewellery, flowers, teddy bears, and hearts galore – all in the name of Saint Valentine. 💓
Rewind to the past and things were different. From the many different theories about the origin of this day of love, and who Saint Valentine was, we've compiled a few below.
According to the History channel (DStv channel 186) website, the church recognises three saints with the name Valentine or Valentinus. They were all martyred.
One legend goes that Valentine, a priest, defied Emperor Claudius II who decided that only single men made better soldiers so he outlawed marriage. Valentine didn't agree with it and performed many ceremonies in secret. But when Claudius discovered the betrayal, he had Valentine beheaded. 😳
Some say that Valentine's Day is a version of the Lupercalia pagan festival. "Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus," reads the History channel website.
After Christianity became the dominant religion, Lupercalia was outlawed. Pope Gelasius said it was un-Christian by the end of 5th century.
Around the same time, notes the NPR website, Normans marked Galatin's Day. "Galatin meant "lover of women." That was likely confused with St. Valentine's Day at some point, in part because they sound alike," the website reads.
By the Middle Ages, thanks to many poets and the ultimate bard himself, William Shakespeare, it started to become associated with love. "The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem 'Parliament of Foules' writing:
'For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.'," reads the History channel website.
Let us know on our social media platforms how you think these Love Guests will be celebrating Valentine's Day.
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