A History of Valentine’s Day

Written by: Elizabeth Patrick

Did you know that according to 50 Bits of Valentine’s Day Trivia You Probably Didn’t know” states that passing out Valentines is a 600-year-old tradition?

The first known official celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day took place in Paris on February 14, 1400, which is when King Charles VI of France established the High court of love.

The oldest record of a Valentine is a poem by Charles, the Duke of Orleans, written to his wife when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, in which he refers to his wife as his “Valentine.”

People believe that there are two different theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day.

The first theory is that some believe that the day derives from Lupercalia, which was a raucous Roman festival on February 15 where men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in the hopes of increasing their fertility.

The second theory is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to bolster his army, he forbade young men to marry. In the spirit of love, St. Valentine defied the ban and performed secret marriages, and for his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14 around the year 270 A.D.

Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day each year on February 14 by sending cards or letters, giving gifts such as chocolates or flowers, and having meals in restaurants.

In classrooms, Valentine’s Day is a time for children to share Valentine’s day cards with their friends and classmates.

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