History of Valentine’s Day

History of valentine's day

Precisely on February 14, comes a day that according to some circles, especially young people is quite special, namely the day called Valentine’s Day / Valentine’s Day or also known as Valentine’s Day. In Indonesia, Valentine’s Day is generally more popular with young people, synonymous with pink and romance and commemorated by partying, exchanging gifts, and giving flowers or chocolates from a man to a woman.

In other parts of the world Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in several ways and traditions. With all its stories and controversies, what exactly and how does history go about Valentine’s Day? Let’s now follow the history of Valentine’s Day before we meet that Valentine’s Day in the coming month.

LEGEND OF ST. Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of the character who used his name for the day’s celebration, turned out to be shrouded in mystery. We all know that Valentine’s Day is related to the celebration of love and compassion. We also know that St. Valentine’s Day carries the influence of traditions from ancient Christianity and Rome. But who exactly is This St. Valentine, and why is his name involved in this annual ritual?

The Catholic Church knows at least 3 saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom are considered martyred. There is one legend that valentine is a priest who served in the 3rd century in Rome. When the then ruler, Emperor Cludius II gave the assertion that single men were better able to be good men than those who already had wives and children, he forbade all young men from marrying.

Valentine was aware of the unfairness of the decision, opposing Claudius’ decision and still helping the marriage process of the young couples secretly. When his actions were finally discovered by Cladius, the Emperor ordered valentine to be put to death.

Another story tells that Valentine was killed in the middle of his efforts to help escape imprisoned Christians where they were often tortured inside. Another legend has it that the imprisoned Valentine fell in love with a girl who was probably the daughter of the warden in which he was being held. The girl is thought to have visited him frequently.

Valentine then sends the girl her first Valentine’s card. Before Valentine died, he had written to the girl with the addition of the words ‘From Your Valentine’, a form of expression that is still used today. Although this story is doubtful, all the stories that tell about him always show that he is sympathetic, heroic and most importantly, romantic. In the Middle Ages, thanks to this reputation, valentine would become the most prominent saint in England and France.


history of valentine's day

While Valentine’s Day is believed to be commemorated in the middle of February because it coincides with the death or burial of St. Valentine which is likely to occur around 270 AD, there are also claims that the Christian church designated the middle of February as Valentine’s Day in an attempt to ‘Christianize’ the pagan festival called Lupercalia. Commemorated every February 15, Lupercalia is a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus.

The celebration of Lupercalia began with members of the Luperci or roman priestess sequence gathered in a sacred cave believed to be where the babies Romulus and Remus were cared for by a female wolf called Lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. The goatskin that had been cut into pieces was dipped in the blood of the offering and then they went down to the street.

On the street, they gently slap goatskin on the skins of the women and also on the land of their fields. The women greeted him with joy because they believed that the slap of goatskin made them more fertile that year. Still on the same day, single women would write down their names and be placed on a giant urn. The bachelors there are going to pick one of the names and they’re going on a date. Often the relationship that occurs will end in a marriage.


Lupercalia escaped at the beginning of the Christian revival, but was later banned in the late 5th century for being considered contrary to Christianity, while also saying that February 14th was St. Valentine’s Day. However the middle of February remains a day related to compassion. In addition, in the early Middle Ages it was believed that February 14th was the beginning of the bird breeding season, which later became an additional idea of the election of February 14 as The Day of Affection.

valentine's day

Valentine’s Day greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages, although there were no written sayings until the early 1400s. The oldest known and surviving Valentine’s greeting to this day is a love poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans for his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The poem is currently part of a collection of manuscripts at the British Library in London.

Also Read: Simple Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

A few years later there was a story that it was believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to string up Valentine’s greetings to Catherine of Valois.


What Date is Valentine Day

14 February

The history behind Valentine’s Day? 

When Valentine’s Day is believed to be commemorated in the middle of February because it coincides with the death or burial of St. Valentine which is likely to occur around the year 270 AD

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