Valentine’s Day is one of the holidays that people either hate or love. In the US and other places around the world, people will be exchanging flowers, cards, and chocolate tomorrow. But where does the tradition come from? I was curious, and I thought some other people might be too.
The story of Valentine’s Day is a mystery that no one really knows much about. It all started with Saint Valentine. There were at leasts three different saints in the Catholic church named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. One of the legends says that Saint Valentine was a priest in the Catholic church. The Emperor decided to make marriage illegal, because single men made better soldiers than married men. Valentine defied the Emperor and continued to marry young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was put to death.
Other stories say that Valentine was put to death for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where to prisoners were often tortured. Valentine fell in love with one of the guard’s daughters, and sent her the first “valentine”. He wrote a letter to her and signed it “From Your Valentine,” and was killed shortly after.
It is thought that Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th to honor the day of Valentine’s death or burial. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.