Be Our Valentine
With the past couple months being a total blur between the countless holidays and celebrations, things are finally starting to wind down as we continue into the new year. There is, however, still one more holiday waiting on the horizon - Valentine’s Day! Celebrated every year on February 14th, Valentine’s day is known for being arguably the biggest celebration of romance and love, and the common symbols associated with Valentine’s day are the winged Cupid, hearts, the color red, and doves.
Valentine’s Day has no single, set origin story, and is instead believed to have several different ones. The most prominent story is that of the Saint Valentine, who the holiday is named after. The Catholic Church, however, recognizes three different saints by this name, and therefore there are multiple origin stories stemming from this alone.
In one of these stories, Valentine was a priest who lived in Rome during the third century, when marriage for young men was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II. He did this because he believed that single men were better soldiers than those who were married with families. Valentine, however, did not agree with the emperor’s actions, and decided to perform secret marriages for young couples. When he was caught, he was sentenced to death.
Another story suggests that Valentine was imprisoned for attempting to help Christians escape Roman prisons. While he was imprisoned, he fell in love with a young girl who often visited him, and before he died, he wrote her a love letter, and ended it with the phrase “Your Valentine,” which explains the expression that is still commonly used today. No matter which story of Valentine is believed to be the origin of the holiday, one thing holds true - that he was a heroic, bold, and romantic figure.
These themes were carried on over and developed Valentine’s Day into the grand celebration of love that it is today. Although love is something to be celebrated and acknowledged year round, this special holiday provides people with an opportunity to really go above and beyond in their simple yet meaningful gestures of romance, or even larger scale displays of affection. People typically exchange gifts to their loved ones, including chocolate, flowers, jewelry, cards, etc, and celebrate by bringing them out to nice dinners and dates.
Valentine’s Day is not necessarily meant to celebrate only romantic relationships, but those with family and friends as well. Remember to treasure those who are important to you this coming February 14th, and also throughout the rest of the year!