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The Student News Site of Capital City High School

The Plume

The Student News Site of Capital City High School

The Plume

Valentine’s Day History

Introduction Valentine's Day | Definition, History, & Traditions | Britannica

Valentine’s day is a day to celebrate love, either through valentine’s day boxes, candy, cards, chocolates, or movies. But where did Valentine’s Day really originate from? Was it even about love and romance? And where did we get our modern day traditions from? 

 

Who is St. Valentine?Valentine's Day 2024: Origins, Background & Traditions | HISTORY

As you may have learned in elementary, St. Valentine is the person behind the holiday. The history behind the saint is very foggy, as different legends tell different stories of all who were martyred. One, a bishop, Saint Valentine of Terni, beheaded by Claudius II. Another, a priest, who when Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, defied the king and performed marriages for young lovers in secret, also beheaded. Another legend states that he was a prisoner and sent the first valentine card after he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter. All different stories, but all the same endings. St. Valentine was seen throughout these legends as romantic, passionate, and heroic. Giving the holiday it’s doey feeling. 

 

Origins of Valentine’s DayFree High Resolution Vintage Victorian Valentine's Day Postcard

Valentine’s Day, to some, is to commemorate the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death around A.D. 270. Other historians argue it is in place of February to “Christianize” the pagan holiday Lupercalia, in which was a festival devoted for Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Victorian Valentines History | Country & Victorian Times

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th, St. Valentine’s day and outlawed Lupercalia. And as the centuries progressed, the holiday became more and more associated with love. Valentine’s day cards went as far back as the middle ages. By the 18th century, it was now common for friends and lovers to exchange written notes or token of affection. As the new innovations rampaged the world, the cards were soon mass produced. Hallmark sells an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards every year. 

 

 

Who is Cupid?What the mythical Cupid can teach us about the meaning of love and desire

The Greek figure roots back to the Greek god of love named Eros. Eros, according to Greek Archaic poets, was seen as an immortal who played with the emotions of men and Gods using a golden arrow. The name Cupid, comes from the Latin verb cupere, which means desire. The God was also depicted carrying roses. 

 

The First ValentineCharles d'Orléans, earliest known Valentine? - Medieval manuscripts blog

The first valentine is still with us today. It is a poem, written in 1415, by Charles, Duke of Orleans. The letter was sent to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London because of his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The card is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London. It says, “I am already sick of love, my very gentle Valentine.” 

 

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About the Contributor
Sophia Bashore, Plume Staff
Sophia is a senior at CCHS. She enjoys writing about films, history, book reviews, and other opinionated topics. She helps edit and publishes stories on Plume Snapshot.
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