With love in the crisp New England air, it is clear that Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. There are romantic cards, beautiful bouquets, and shared time among loved ones. This makes us feel warm every year, but this year’s festivities made me wonder. How did this all start? How has this heart throbbing tradition come to be what it is today?
The third century Roman Priest popularly known as Saint Valentine is the person to which we owe our annual merriment. During St. Valentine’s time as a priest, Emperor Claudius II expressed his belief that single men made much better soldiers than compassionate partners. With this news, St. Valentine continued marring young couples in secret; he would not let those in love suffer and be denied the right to marry the love of their life. For betraying the emperor, he was then put to death. He never stopped putting others before himself.
Image source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/st-valentine-beheaded
From its Roman origins, St. Valentine’s holiday grew to be enjoyed all over the world. In France and England, February 14th is the start of mating season for birds. Which for them symbolizes fertility, love, and the promise of spring. Japanese and South Korean traditions on the lover’s day is revolved around women spoiling their men with chocolates. In Denmark and Norway, they have their own quirky traditions where men write an anonymous poem to women. The women then have to guess who gave them the card, and all they have are hints from the men of how many letters are in their name.
"It is not just about romance and chocolates, there are fun and games, but also standing up for what you believe in.
Trip over love, you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever” -Anonymous