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Valentine’s Day: Check out the origination of the phrases; “be my Valentine” and “match-making”

Commentary Valentine’s Day: Check out the origination of the phrases; “be my Valentine” and “match-making”
TUE, 14 FEB 2023 LISTEN

It can be difficult to determine the true origins of Valentine's Day.

Millions of accounts about the romantic feast can be found on the internet and in academic journals.

They all share common similarities that revolve around Saint Valentine, a catholic martyr and love enthusiast.

According to almost all the accounts, during the third century AD, Roman Emperor Claudius II executed a man who would later become Saint Valentine.

While many legends surround him and others with the same name, it is widely assumed that Claudius imprisoned Valentine for assisting loved-up Christian couples in marrying at a time when it was forbidden.

Despite the harsh treatment he received, Valentine tutored a young blind woman named Julia, the daughter of his jailer, Emperor Claudius II, during his time in prison.

After the two, who later became lover birds, prayed together, Julia's sight is said to have been restored.

Unfortunately, Saint Valentine's love and selflessness were insufficient to free him, and he was executed.

Before he was executed, the man wrote a note to Julia and signed it, "From your Valentine," which gave rise to the phrase 'be my Valentine', used predominantly in present days.

How it was invented and celebrated
The feast was technically invented in AD 496 by Pope Gelasius as "The Feast of Saint Valentine," in memory of the martyred saint who died on that day over 200 years before.

Despite the numerous legends surrounding this man and others like him, the Catholic Church declared this Valentine a saint and listed him as a martyr on February 14 - otherwise known as St Valentine's Day.

However, the first known link between Valentine's Day and coupledom was on February 14, 1400.

It was at this time that King Charles V of France established La cour amoureuse (the High Court of Love) in Paris. The court, which was entirely run by women, met to deal with marriage contracts, infidelity, divorce, and domestic violence.

How it was celebrated
Valentine's Day derives from the Lupercalia festival, a pagan fertility celebration held annually on February 15 in Rome.

Members of the Luperci priesthood would sacrifice goats and a dog on Palatine Hill before giving the skins to men who would run around the city naked and strike women who approached them.

The festival was meant to encourage fertility among the young population.

According to the Valentine's Day origins story, the women would gather later in the festival and place their names in a large pot.

The city's eligible unmarried men would then take turns randomly selecting a name. Whoever they chose as their year's partner - and many of these match-makings often end in marriage.

The origination of the present-day Valentine's Day

The modern Valentine's Day, with cards and chocolates, began in 1985, when Hallmark launched their Valentine's Day advertisements in the United States, claiming to be "The Valentine's Store."

The video displays all of the cards and heart-shaped gifts that customers could purchase in-store.

This introduced more grease to the idea of celebrating Valentine's Day in a more romantic manner by exchanging love messages and chocolate, going on couples retreats, and participating in a variety of activities.

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished

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