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The Dark History Behind Valentine’s Day

by Shwar Zaidi

Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. On Feb. 14, millions of lovers celebrate this holiday by giving thoughtful gifts and spending their day with loved ones.

Have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day began? Why is Feb. 14 the day of love?

The origin of Valentine’s Day goes back as early as 270 A.D., starting with a match-making festival and evolving from a clash between a priest and a mighty ruler.

Valentine’s Day is a long-standing tradition from a Roman festival known as Lupercalia. It was celebrated Feb. 13 to Feb. 15. The men would draw a woman’s name from a jar and be partners for the duration of the festival, which could later lead to romance and marriage if the match was right.

The Lupercalia festival typically ended in wedlock, which upset the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who banned the tradition of marriage as he thought that single men made better soldiers. Saint Valentine, who worked under the Emperor, disagreed with the marriage ban. Valentine held secret marriages and many people came to him for help about love. Unfortunately, when he was caught, the emperor threw him in jail and executed him on Feb. 14. Due to his martyrdom, the Catholic Church honored him and changed St. Valentine’s Day to Feb. 14.

Perhaps the reason why people exchange love letters was that before his death, Valentine sent a love letter to a young girl he had fallen in love with, signed: “From your Valentine.”

There are still doubts on the history of exactly how Valentine’s Day happened, but we know for a fact that Saint Valentine promoted love and marriage. This holiday is not only for just people who are dating or in love. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your friends or even yourself.

Love is beautiful and amazing; it can make us feel special and enlightened. For those of you celebrating with a loved one, be sure to let them know how much they mean to you. How you chose to do so is your choice.

If you have a crush on someone, Valentine’s Day is the day to let it be known. Let them know what they mean to you and see where it goes.

If you don’t have anyone in mind, simply love yourself. It’s important to love yourself before you love others.

Whether you’re celebrating with a date or by yourself, be sure to enjoy the day and spread the love. After all, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.