Valentine’s Day History. Eternal Love Story
February 14th the world celebrates Valentine’s Day. But not everyone knows how this holiday came and how it is celebrated in different countries of the world.
Valentine’s Day – is a holiday of romance, love, and tenderness. On this day, it is assumed to give to our favorite and dearest people, flowers, candy, balloons and other nice gifts.
An essential attribute of the holiday – is a Valentine - a small card with a declaration of love. Valentines, as a rule, made a heart-shaped and are decorated with roses, kissing angels, doves or kittens.
On the eve of the festival, we will tell you about the history of Valentine’s Day, as well as about the traditions which have shrouded this touching and beautiful day.
Valentine’s Day history
Historical evidence suggests that a prototype of Valentine’s Day had existed already in ancient Rome. To improve fertility, the ancient Romans invented an unusual erotic festival - Lupercalia. The 14th of February was the day when people worshiped the goddess Juno, who was the patroness of women, motherhood, and marriage. All unmarried girls had to write their names on parchment and place it into the general ritual urn. Single guys, relying on good fortune, blindly were choosing a girlfriend for the next year.
The next day, February 15th the most beautiful naked boys ran around the city and whipped with belts all the oncoming women. Roman beauties were not opposed to this ritual. These holidays were celebrated by other pagan peoples also.
In the Middle Ages, in England appeared similar custom of choosing a girlfriend for the whole year. Young people, like the ancient Romans, had to fish up the name of the girl out of the urn. The relationship had arisen between the coincident pairs, this way they were becoming Valentine for each other.
Festival of love found its saint patron in 496 AD. This year the Pope has proclaimed the 14th of February the Valentine’s Day. Who actually was the mysterious St. Valentine? There are several legends that tell us about the fate of the main saint of all lovers.
The first legend says that Valentine was a prisoner, who was jailed for healing the sick people by means of unknown forces. People did not forget his savior and were bringing him letters. One letter fell into the hands of the security guard, who has believed in the ability of the young man. He asked Valentine to heal his blind daughter. The doctor, who, incidentally, was handsome, agreed to heal the young woman and had cured her disease. Seeing the white light and the handsome guy, young lady immediately fell in love with her savior.
This story has a sad ending - 14 February an amorous young man was executed. Knowing that he has no longer time, he wrote to his sweetheart and loved ones letters with declarations of love. Hence was born the tradition of giving each other valentines.
Another beautiful, but also a sad legend, Valentine was a Roman priest who served during the third century AD. It is well known that in those days there was a ban on the marriage of soldiers. Julius Claudius II forbade to soldiers create families because he believed that wives prevent men quietly fight and defend their country.
Priest Valentine continued to help soldiers, in spite of the strict prohibition of the marriage of soldiers. Because of his kindness, he was sentenced to death. While being in prison, the young priest madly fell in love with a lovely daughter of the warden. She was also in love with him, but the fact that the priest was not indifferent to her, she discovered only after his death. On the night of February 14, Valentine wrote to his beloved about his feelings, and in the morning priest Valentine was executed.
Customs and Traditions
It is estimated that in Western Europe, Valentine’s Day has become widely celebrated from the XIII century, in the United States - since 1777. In Ukraine, the 14th of February - Valentine’s Day - is a relatively new but quite popular and mass holiday.
Like on any other holiday, on Valentine’s Day is assumed to give gifts, souvenirs, and valentines. Valentines can be both signed and anonymous.
With regard to the traditions of celebrating Valentine’s Day in different countries, in the US on the day of lovers an object of sympathy is required to present a box in the shape of a heart filled with sweets. It is important that in the box were both red and white candy: red means passion and white symbolizes the purity of love.
In Italy, Valentine’s Day history suggests giving mainly sweets. In France, traditionally people give jewels and write love poems. The British can send sensory recognition not only to loved ones, but also to pets. Sensual Spaniards often send the gentle message via carrier pigeons.
In Finland, on Valentine’s Day receive gifts almost all women. In Japan - on the contrary, this Valentine’s Day is a kind of a Men’s Day. On February 14 in Japan receives gifts only the stronger sex. As a rule, as the gift, men receive various accessories and chocolate.