History of Valentine’s Day

Daniela Delgado, Copy Editor

The annual celebration of romance with a significant other is coming upon us. Feb. 14, also known as Valentine’s Day, is known as the day you celebrate with your loved one with chocolates, roses, cupid and more. However, the origin behind this day of romance is thought of as more grim than sentimental.

The holiday was known as a time to celebrate the Feast of Lupercalia in ancient Rome, where the men would sacrifice a goat and a dog. The hides of these animals were used to whip women with the belief that this action would make them fertile. Later, the women would all place names into an urn for the bachelors of the city to pick a woman to be paired with.

“I was never aware that Valentine’s Day had a dark past associated with it. Considering that love, gifts, chocolates, etc are all involved with the holiday, it never crossed my mind that Valentine’s Day could come from such a shocking origin,” said Kelsey Herbst, senior.

This celebration was eventually outlawed, but it was not until the 1400s that it was associated with love. This tradition started with written cards and poems in 1415 from Charles, the Duke of Orleans, to his wife. Writers started romanticizing the holiday in their works, such as Shakespeare.

The history of Valentine’s day involves many legends of St. Valentine, a cherished priest in Rome who lived around 278 A.D. One legend is associated with St Valentine performing marriages for young lovers even after it was outlawed, resulting in his death. Another legend has to do with Valentine, who was imprisoned, sending valentine letters to a girl he was in love with.

Eventually, this holiday made its way around the world where people now celebrate with gifting chocolates, candy, flowers, gifts, cards and poems to their loved ones, such as how Athens Drive allows students to send each other singing valentines in honor of this holiday.

Singing Valentines went around from class to class singing songs.