The History Behind The Day Of Love



Parul Singh, Contributor

Valentine’s day is near. The day of love, flowers, and chocolates. To other people, it also means the day of friends and family. But Valentine’s day wasn’t always all sweet and loving. This day has a dark origin.  First off, let’s discuss where the word “Valentine” came from. As stated by New York Times: “it’s possible that the heart-filled holiday is based on a combination of two men. There were, after all, two Valentines executed on February 14 by Emperor Claudius II”. So, the day filled with love and hearts is actually an execution day. Weird twist: Valentine’s day is not for sharing love but it is for honoring those two men who were believed to be martyrs. That’s just one theory.

According to NPR, Valentine’s day was created by “Pope Gelasius I”, to replace an ancient Roman festival, “Lupercalia”. Lupercalia was an ancient Roman festival that lasted from February 13-15. The festival basically prevented evil spirits and purified the city, releasing health and fertility. There is also an event during the festival in which men would basically win women through a “matchmaking lottery”.

Valentine’s day can be also traced back to Shakespeare. Back then, people would trade adorable love letters to one another and by the early 1910s, the popular American company Hallmark is born. After that, Hallmark would distribute “Valentine’s day cards”. After the cards, the company began distributing things, such as: flowers, candy, jewelry, and much more later on. Now you may be asking yourself: ‘what does cupid play on this day?’ Well, Cupid, “the winged baby boy”, is another symbol of love. But according to Roman mythology, Cupid was the “son of Venus, goddess of love and beauty”. People still haven’t figured out how and why Cupid was brought into Valentine’s day, but we do know what Cupid does with his “love arrows”: shoot different people to make them fall in love.

In my opinion, Valentine’s day is not just for couples because they are not the only thing love means. The Day of Love is also celebrated with friends and family, since your friends/family is MUCH MORE important than your partner. Your boyfriend/girlfriend will leave you, but your friends/family will stay with you forever. In my opinion, it’s best for Valentine’s day to be celebrated only for friends and family. After the dark origin of the day of love, Valentine’s day is still celebrated worldwide in many ways: a nice dinner or even a party, but people have different ways of celebrating the day of love/friendship. Many people will buy gifts for friends, family or their significant other, but all the singles out there will celebrate in a “SAD” way (Single Awareness Day). What’s wrong with celebrating the day of love when you’re single? You get all the chocolate to yourself and you can eat a dinner for two.