Valentine’s Day–It’s actually not a holiday made up by Hallmark

Written by: Emily Vargo

Every year, Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14th in the United States. It is known as the day of love where people buy candy, cards, and flowers for others to show that they appreciate them. But have you ever wondered how Valentine’s Day started? I asked a few Defiance College students on campus if they had any idea of the history of Valentine’s Day.

The first student I asked was Sarah, a Freshman at DC, who said “It’s a modern day holiday to appreciate your significant other.”

“ A long time ago they took a day and dedicated it to love so they could celebrate their significant others and show how much they care for one another through romantic gestures” stated Megan, also a freshman at DC.

A third student who wanted to be anonymous thought that, “Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and the bond that it represents.

Some believe love is just human nature and it makes sense for people to get attached and fall in love, so why not have a day to celebrate it and make it known. However, Valentine’s day is more than a holiday about love and gifts.

Valentine’s day is named after St. Valentine. According to historians, St. Valentine was a priest in the Catholic Church who served during the third century in Rome.

During this time Emperor Claudius II thought single men were better soldiers than those who had wives and children. The Emperor outlawed marriage for young men so they could be better soldiers. St. Valentine felt that this wasn’t right or fair. In secret, he performed marriages behind the Emperor so couples could be together.

Eventually, the emperor found out what Valentine was doing and sentenced him to death. Some say that Valentine was killed for attempting to help Rome prisoners escape because they were often beaten and tortured, not for marrying couples behind the Emperor’s back. Others say an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” to a girl he fell in love with that would visit him during his confinement.

The exact date of the holiday is unknown but St. Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France by the middle ages. Valentine’s Day may not have a pretty history but every year it is celebrated by millions of people in the name of romance.

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