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Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love, was once a festival, but later had some twists and turns before it became the holiday it is today.
The holiday originated from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. Pope Gelasius, declared this festival as a Christian feast day, making Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day.
According to history.com, it was believed to be called Valentine’s Day because of three saints named Valentine that were all murdered trying to protect love. One story tells about one of the saints, Valentine, who was a priest. When Emperor Claudius the second outlawed marriage for young men, Valentine continued to perform marriages for young lovers and was put to death.
An iconic Valentine’s Day figure, Cupid, was the son of Venus, the goddess of love. Cupid was not always depicted as a baby, but as a young man with a golden bow and arrow. During the Hellenistic period, Cupid was depicted as a mischievous child and from then on, had become the Valentine’s Day mascot.
Valentine’s may have been invented by a man named Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer was an English poet that made his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. According to history.com, no records were found before Chaucer wrote his poem around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day an association that did not exist until after his poem received widespread attention. Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Saint Valentine’s day / one every foul cometh there to choose his mate.”
According to fundivo.com, more than $19 billion are spent during Valentine’s Day yet only 54.8 percent of people celebrate it worldwide.
Today, Valentine’s Day included buying flowers, chocolates and a romantic night on the town with a significant other.