Valentine’s Day has become one of the most important dates in the calendar, but how many people know its true origins?
Valentine was a Roman priest who lived under Claudius II, the Roman Emperor. Claudius II had made it illegal for young men to get married because he thought they would perform better on the battlefield if they were not wed. Valentine, the priest, was the only one who took pity on those young soldiers and performed secret wedding ceremonies. To honour your loved one this Valentine’s Day why not treat them to Afternoon tea boxes from a company that specialises in Afternoon tea boxes?
Valentine’s secret was eventually revealed by the Emperor, who imprisoned Valentine to await his execution. It is believed that the tradition of sending cards ‘From Your Valentine’ originated from Valentine’s letters sent to his sweetheart from prison.
What is the significance behind February 14th? It is believed that this is the day Valentine was executed and became a martyr and a saint.
Another story about the origins of Valentine’s Day is that it was a Christian takeover of the pagan festival Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a pagan festival of fertility and prosperity held in Rome every February. The origins of the festival are thought to date back to the 6th century BC and involved animal sacrifice, feasting and plenty of fornication! Doesn’t sound particularly romantic, does it?
The original fertility festival is of pagan origin, and Christianity has simply rebranded it. If you think about Valentine’s Day you probably picture romance, flowers and chocolates, not pagan rituals or martyred priests!