Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is seen as the day of love in which you give gifts to your most cherished loved ones on the 14th of February. Many love the day and see it as a romantic day to spend with their special someone, whilst others see it as a cynical day in which people are forced to spend money. Here is a low down of where Valentine’s Day originated from, and why we celebrate. 

ORIGINATES FROM A FAMOUS SAINT

The day comes from Saint Valentine, who was a Catholic priest who lived in Rome during the 3rd century. Romans were beginning to convert to Christianity but Emperor Claudius II put strict laws in place to restrict what they can do and make sure they were devoted to Rome.

St Valentine married soldiers to their loved ones in secret Christian ceremonies. This started his reputation of believing in the importance of love and how it can shape people’s lives. He was eventually jailed, but cared for his fellow prisoners and his jailor’s blind daughter. It’s rumoured that he cured the girl’s blindness and wrote her a love message before he was executed. 

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

By the time that Rome had converted to Christianity and the Catholic Church was fully against paganism, Valentine’s Day began to be celebrated. 200 years later, since St Valentine was executed, the pope proclaimed that 14th February was Saint Valentine’s Day establishing a feast day on the Catholic Calendar. 

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages, that Saint Valentine’s Day was associated with love. Rituals of courtly love and people expressing admiration grew in secret. This eventually grew bigger into the Valentine’s Day we know. It’s now a holiday which has been exploited by companies, but the core message remains the same – share the day with a loved one. This could be a partner, family member or a friend. 

So make sure whatever you are doing on Valentine’s Day, you are spending it with a loved one (this could be your pet) and enjoy the day. Don’t fall into the corporate aspect of buying multiple gifts, make sure that they know that you love and cherish your special someone. 


Words by Jenna Rink

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