Origin of Valentine’s Day

From a Care2 newsletter:
The ori­gins of Valen­tine’s Day trace back to the ancient Roman cel­e­bra­tion of Luper­calia. Held on Feb­ru­ary 15, Luper­calia hon­ored the gods Luper­cus and Faunus, as well as the leg­endary founders of Rome, Romu­lus, and Remus. 

In addi­tion to a boun­ti­ful feast, Luper­calia fes­tiv­i­ties are pur­port­ed to have includ­ed the pair­ing of young women and men. Men would draw wom­en’s names from a box, and each cou­ple would be paired until next year’s celebration. 

While this pair­ing of cou­ples set the tone for today’s hol­i­day, it was­n’t called “Valen­tine’s Day” until a priest named Valen­tine came along. Valen­tine, a roman­tic at heart, dis­obeyed Emper­or Claudius II’s decree that sol­diers remain bach­e­lors. Valen­tine defied the emper­or and secret­ly per­formed mar­riage cer­e­monies. As a result of his defi­ance, Valen­tine was put to death on Feb­ru­ary 14.

After Valen­tine’s death, he was named a saint. As Chris­tian­i­ty spread through Rome, the priests moved Luper­calia from Feb­ru­ary 15 to Feb­ru­ary 14 and renamed it St. Valen­tine’s Day to hon­or Saint Valentine.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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