So why is it called Valentine’s day?
2005 at 04.07 am posted by Veerle Pieters
The day gets its name from a famous saint, but there are several stories of who he was. The most popular belief about St. Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers.
Valentine thought this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was sentenced to death and thrown in jail. There, he fell in love with the jailor’s blind daughter. His love and belief in God cured her blindness, and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine”.
The first Valentine message (apart from the one St Valentine wrote himself!) is thought to be a poem from Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415. He was captured at the The Battle of Agincourt and was imprisoned in the Tower of London to await execution.
Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a pagan fertility festival. The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia (which was celebrated every year in honour of Lupercus, the god of fertility) in the middle of February, officially the start of their springtime. As part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box. They’d be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they’d even get married! Pope Gelsius abolished the pagan ritual. As a replacement to the pagan fertility festival, he established the feast of St. Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in 496 A.D.
Gradually, St. Valentine’s name started to be used mainly by men to express their feelings to those they loved. (source BBC)
Today Valentine means big business ranging from flowers to chocolate and SMS. In 2003 surfers in the US bought presents for the total amount of 2,74 billon USD, according to Bizrate.com. Yearly, more than 900 million cards are exchanged. Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas for the number of cards sent.
I am not going to try to make a buck but instead I’ll give you a home-made Valentine card that you can send to your loved one! Happy Valentine’s day! This is the full version of the card.