Every 14th of February many countries around the world celebrate the day of love and lovers: St. Valentine’s Day. On this date couples celebrate their love by giving each other gifts and presents, such us cards, red roses or chocolates, going out for romantic dinners or going abroad for intimate weekends. The aim is to celebrate this day of love together and show affection towards your loved ones, family, friends and your partner.
But why do we celebrate this day with such enthusiasm? Who was Saint Valentine? When did we start to celebrate this tradition? If further curiosity drives you… keep reading!
The most recent Valentine’s Day dates from 1840 when Esther A. Howland began to sell postcards of love, popularly known as «valentines». However, the origin of this festivity dates back to the 3rd century in Rome, when Emperor Claudius II decided to forbid the marriages of young people. He thought that the single young men were better soldiers on the battlefield because they didn’t have sentimental ties.
At that time there was a very popular priest who believed in love above everything: Saint Valentine. He considered the decree unfair so he disobeyed the Emperor. He started to marry young lovers in secret. When Claudius II discovered what he was doing, he sentenced him to death on the 14th of February in 270, alleging disobedience and rebellion against the Empire.
Over the years, people started to commemorate Saint Valentine as a patron of lovers. Later this tradition was assimilated into the teachings of the Catholic Church. Today, it is a day to honour the affection and love between lovers, family members and friends.