valentines-day

The History and Traditions of St. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is celebrated worldwide annually on February 14 and is also called as St. Valentine’s Day or The Feast of St. Valentine. Denoted as a Catholic Christian’s feast day in some Western countries, it is the holiday which recognises the religious, cultural and commercial significance of love and romance in many regions globally.

valentines-day

Over the years, Valentine’s Day has been a religious celebration, an ancient ritual day as well as a commercial holiday. All these changes mean the meaning of Valentine’s Day is truly whatever you want it to be: You can skip the celebrations completely or express your love and appreciation for the people in your life, whether they are romantic partners, friends, or family members.

History of Valentine’s day      

The story of Valentine’s day is originated from the life incidents of Saint Valentine, who was martyred in 270 AD. Claudius the Second, who was the ruler of the Roman Empire at that time, lost many wars with neighbouring countries. His army was low in number and he wanted to expand his strength in the army. Therefore, he ordered his general to conduct recruitment for the army and take all the young Roman men into the army. But after a day, the General reported that nobody wanted to join the army because the young men did not want to leave their wife and families behind. Furious, Claudius issued a law that the army men should never get married and all marriages are banned in the kingdom until further notice.

This law stood for years and nobody in the kingdom stood up against it except Valentine, who was a priest at that time. He opposed this law and secretly conducted ceremonies for couples and army men who wanted to marry their love at his home for several years. He got them married while also making sure that the King did not find about this. Eventually, two soldiers caught Valentine while performing the marriage ceremony for his son and were Valentine was prisoned for a few years. During that time, Valentine fell in love with Julia, the jailor’s daughter. According to legend, it is said that Julia was blind and Valentine with the power of God cured Julia’s blindness. King Claudius gave Valentine a chance to go away if he accepted that his deeds of marrying people in love were wrong. Valentine replied that what he did was right and the act of God. 

Valentine was sentenced to death on 14th of February and a day before his death, Valentine wrote to Julia a letter filled with words of deep love and at the bottom of the letter signed “Your Valentine”.  Pope Gelasius, in 500 A.D recognised the heroics of this Saint and established the day as   St. Valentine’s day in honour of his Valentine’s compassionate towards the people. 

By the end of the 15th century, the word “Valentine” was used to describe a lover in poems and songs of the day, and in the 18th century, a book named The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was published in England. By the mid-19th century, mass-produced Valentine’s Cards were being created, and Valentine’s Day as we know it was born and celebrated by the modern world.

 Gifting & Valentine’s Day

On this day, Couples greets each other with affection and exchange gifts with love. Traditional Valentine’s day gifts include greeting cards, flowers and chocolates.

Greeting Cards:

Valentine’s Day is known for exchanging cards. It is part of the tradition for young to old. It’s quite the occasion in school to give and receive handwritten cards as kids bring “Valentines” for each other and pass them out. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, second only to the Christmas season. 

Flowers:

Valentine’s Day is a day when people love to send flowers to their loved ones. As we all know that rose is the symbolic Valentine’s Day flower, as it signifies romantic love, but there are many other flowers that people send to express their feelings and bond with the important people in their lives. Sending Valentine’s Day flowers to loved one comes from the old-fashioned custom of giving floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages.

Chocolates:

Even without going into the history of the relation of Valentine’s Day and the chocolates, it’s easy to understand why chocolate is one of the favourite ways to express love Valentine’s Day. It is exotically romantic and simply an edible declaration of love that makes the recipients of chocolate feel special and gratified 

Modern Day Gifts:

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All these traditional gifts are great to gift on Valentine’s day, but they aren’t the only way to express your undying love. In these modern times, giving more useful and meaningful Valentine’s Day Gifts does make more sense in expressing your love on Valentine’s. For example, a great Valentine’s day gift for your man may be a backpack to carry his essentials. It would be an amazing gift showing that you understand his needs, or if it’s Valentine’s day gift for a woman, it may be a versatile watch or an elegant bracelet which she can wear and flaunt and will surely mesmerize her. Traditional gifts are also cool, but thoughtful gifts like these show that you truly love your partner and you care and understand their needs. The choice is yours! 

Picture Credit: Canva

Author: The Fashion and City

Hi!! I am Swarupa. A fun loving girl, Leo, trend follower, mad for fashion, desert lover and most important a crazy animal lover.