When Is Valentine's Day?
Valentine’s Day on February 14 is a global holiday that traditionally celebrates romantic love. The holiday has taken a secular form in recent years and is celebrated in almost all countries worldwide.
The Dark History of Valentine’s Day
The origins of St. Valentine’s Day can be found in ancient Christianity. It’s commonly accepted that the holiday is named after a Saint Valentine. Which one is a question of debate. It is thought that at least two Valentines: Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Terni, were executed on February 14 by Roman Emperor Claudius
The Legend of St. Valentine
Over the years, the legend of St. Valentine took on new myths making February 14 the day for lovers. The most popular story is that he was secretly marrying Roman soldiers. Some historians, however,
Lupercalia: The Ancient Roman Festival
It is sometimes thought that the Feast of Valentine was a nod to Lupercalia, a Roman pagan festival celebrated on February 15 in Rome. Unlike the romantic nature of Valentine’s Day,
Valentine’s Day in the Middle Ages
Valentine’s Day as the day of lovers likely owes its existence to Geoffrey Chaucer, the English writer and poet. The bestselling author of Canterbury Tales published a poem called “The Parliament of Fowls.” He wrote, “Seynt Valentynes day”
Valentine's Day Letters
With Chaucer’s poem, the idea of February 14 as the day of love quickly became popular. The first recorded Valentine’s letter is dated 1415 and was a French poem written by Charles Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Valentine’s Day Around the World
Today, Valentine’s Day has moved away from its religious origins and has become a well-known holiday celebrated worldwide, with many cultures creating their own traditions:
- In Norwich, United Kingdom a person called Jack Valentine randomly visits people and leaves Valentine’s Day gifts in front of their doors. The Valentine’s Day equivalent of Santa, Jack is also known to leave useless gifts or play tricks with people.
- South Koreans celebrate many months of love, starting on February 14, when women woo their partners with chocolates and flowers. On March 14 or White Day, their partners respond in kind. For those unable to find love, April 14 or Black Day is a day to feel sorry about their single status.