Where did Valentine's day actually come from?

Saint Valentine's day, also called Valentine's day, is a day to celebrate love. Children pass out Valentines to their classmates, and parents go out for romantic dinners. But it wasn't always that way.

Valentine's day, on the fourteenth of February, comes from the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February. This festival celebrated the coming of spring, and included fertility rites and the pairing of men and women through a lottery. But towards the ending of the fifth century, Pope Gelasius 1 Changed Lupercalia, and made it Valentine's day. Around the fourteenth century, it became a celebration of love and romance. At last! But why Saint Valentine?

Although there are a few Christian martyrs named Valentine, the say probably acquired its name from a priest who was martyred around 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. A legend says that the priest signed a letter to his jailer's daughter, whom he had become friends with, and according to some, healed from blindness "From your Valentine".

Others say it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, for whom the holiday was named, but it is a possibility that both these men were the same person. Another common legend tells us that Saint Valentine went against the emperor's orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love.

Formal messages, or Valentines, appeared during the 1500s, and by the late 1700s, commercially printed cards were being used. They often depicted Cupid, the Roman god of love, along with hearts, the traditional "seat of emotion". As it was thought that the avian mating season began in late February, birds also became a symbol of this holiday. Traditional gifts included candy and flowers, especially red roses, the symbol of love and beauty.

This day it common in many European countries, and also Argentina, Mexico, and South Korea. The holiday has expanded to express love to family and friends as well as soulmates. Many children exchange Valentines with each other on this day.

Happy Valentine's da, everyone!

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