The history of Valentine’s Day: the story of St.Valentine

Stevie Macgregor ’19, News Editor

Everyone knows Valentine’s Day as the day that has love in the air. People take the holiday as a chance to show their affection for their significant other. Most people were probably introduced to the holiday in kindergarten when they had to bring in cards and pass them out to all of the kids in their class. As people grow up, gifts evolve into flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears. Even though this holiday is a large part of American culture throughout adolescence and into early adulthood, most people do not know how the holiday came to be what it is today.

The exact origins of the holiday and its namesake are disputed, but the most agreed upon story is that of St.Valentine. The story says that in the “Third century Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed the marriage of young men” because they needed to fight in the army. Valentine disobeyed this order and continued to marry young couples in secret. Claudius discovered this and Valentine was ordered to death. It is thought that the 14th of February is the day that “commemorates either the day of death or burial of St.Valentine.” According to the History Channel. The day was celebrated for a couple hundred years until it was outlawed as it became viewed  as “un-Christian”. It re-emerged in the Middle Ages as a day of romance and from then on, the holiday that we have grown up with was truly born commercially speaking.

Over recent history, it has evolved from its roots as a holiday for the older generation to one that is mostly reserved for the younger generations nowadays. Valentine’s Day has evolved over time, but the idea of a day of romance has been constant throughout its existence.

Photo courtesy of Smart Start

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