Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentines Day - Where did it came from?

I was wondering where Valentines Day came from. I know that many people celebrating valentines because this day is a special day to celebrate with the one you love. Before, i celebrate Valentines but not until I married my husband. For us, everyday is Valentines, we dont need a special date to celebrate it. I research it online and look what I found? It said that:

Did you ever send or receive a valentine, a card or a gift? In many countries it is the custom to send them out for February 14, Valentine Day. It is supposed to be a day celebrated by lovers. But how did the custom start?

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says: “Valentine, St. A priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians. He became a convert and, . . . he was clubbed to death. His day is 14 February. . .

“The ancient custom of choosing Valentines has only accidental relation to [the] saint, being essentially a relic of the old Roman Lupercalia . . . or from association with the mating season of birds. It was marked by the giving of presents and nowadays by the sending of a card on which cupids, transfixed hearts, etc., are depicted.”

And what does Cupid have to do with Valentine Day? The same source says: “Cupid (Lat[in] cupido, desire, love). The Roman god of love, identified with the Greek Eros. He is usually represented as a beautiful winged boy, blindfolded, and carrying a bow and arrows.”

The World Book Encyclopedia gives further information, offering various theories on the origin of Valentine Day practices. “According to one story, the Roman Emperor Claudius II in the A.D. 200’s forbade young men to marry. The emperor thought single men made better soldiers. A priest named Valentine disobeyed the emperor’s order and secretly married young couples. . . . Many stories say that Valentine was executed on February 14 about A.D. 269. In A.D. 496, Saint Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.”

Regardless of the true origin of the practice, it is evident that it is rooted in ancient pagan beliefs and in Christendom’s listing of so-called “saints.” Valentine Day is also another excuse for commercial exploitation of an often uninformed public.—2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Concerning Valentine’s Day, The World Book Encyclopedia (1973 edition) notes:

"Valentine’s Day comes on the feast day of two different Christian martyrs named Valentine. But the customs connected with the day have nothing to do with the lives of the saints. They probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature."

But how did a festival in honor of false deities become a so-called Christian observance? The same reference work continues:
"After the spread of Christianity, churchmen tried to give Christian meaning to the pagan festival. In 496, Pope Gelasius changed the Lupercalia festival of February 15 to Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14. But the sentimental meaning of the old festival has remained to the present time."

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