BY C.L. HARMON &
Although, it’s impossible to know the exacts origins of anything unless one was there when it began, it’s always fun to speculate. So, where did this holiday of hearts and hugs, kisses and dances actually originate, according to the historians?
One belief for Valentine’s Day is of Valentine’s Day comes from the ancient Roman Empire. It is said that in the Roman people observed a holiday on February 14th to honor Juno – the Queen of Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans regarded Juno as the Goddess of Women and Marriage. On the following day, February 15th began the fertility festival called ‘Feast of Lupercalia’. The festival of Lupercalia was celebrated to honor the Gods Lupercus and Faunus.
An interesting custom was followed in the Feast of Lupercalia to bring together young boys and girls who otherwise were strictly separated. On the eve of the festival names of young Roman girls were written on a slip of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew out a girl’s name from the jar and was paired with the girl for the duration of Lupercalia. Sometime pairing lasted for a year until next year’s celebration. Quite often, the couple would fall in love with each other and later marry. The custom lasted for a long time until people felt that the custom was un-Christian and that mates should be chosen by sight, not luck.
It was actually due to the efforts of the priest St Valentine that the festival got its name and clearer meaning. The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers and felt the reason was men did not join army because they did not wish to leave their wives and families. As a result Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. A romantic at heart priest of Rome Saint Valentine defied Claudius’s unjustified order. Along with Saint Marius, St Valentine secretly married couples. When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. After his death Valentine was named a Saint.
Getting To The Heart Of The Matter: The Origin Of Valentine’s Day
BY C.L. HARMON &