The origins of Valentine’s Day

Justin Yost, Editorial Writer

Yay, it’s Valentine’s Day! Well, not really. At the time of writing, it’s the day before Valentine’s Day. Just so you all know, I am single and hate Valentine’s Day. Not because I’m lonely, but because I don’t want to listen and see all the couples being all lovey lovey. Every couple will be crazy in love, giving and receiving gifts on this one day. But every other day they can’t stand each other. If you truly love each other, it shouldn’t come down to one day.

So who and why is Valentine’s Day celebrated? Valentine’s Day is a day for love, but it has a dark and bloody past. Emperor Claudius II of Rome had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, he threw Valentine in jail and sentenced him to death. While in jail Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. When he was taken to be killed on Feb. 14 he sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.”

From Feb 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. Sacrifices were made and women were not treated the way they are today.

The Roman men were drunk and naked for most of the three days, and a matchmaking lottery took place to find the young men matches for the night. Sometimes this match would work out and they would get married.

The Lupercalia festival survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed at the end of the 5th century. As the years went on, the holiday grew to become sweeter and look more like it does today. Shakespeare romanticized it in his work, and the holiday grew bigger throughout Britain and the rest
of Europe.

Written Valentines didn’t begin to appear until the 1400s. The oldest known that still is in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.

Why did I just give you all of this information? Maybe because I just need more words to fill space, but probably because I want to hide the fact I truly am lonely.