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History of St Valentines Day

 About St Valentine

Historical archives talk of at least three different individuals known by the name of Saint Valentine and associated with Valentine's Day celebration of February 14. Some scholars even talk of the presence of as many as seven Saint Valentine all of whom lived in the Third Century and apparently died on February 14. Discussed here are the legends of three saints who were all martyred for their faith and have been recognized by the Catholic Church. Some scholars say that these saints were not separate individuals and are likely to be one and the same. Since these saints lived during the reign of the same Roman emperor and are believed to have died on the same day, this assumption seems to have some validity.

 About Saint Valentine of Rome - Legend I
One of the most popular Saint Valentine associated with Valentine's Day festival is said to have lived in Rome when the country was under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. It is said that Emperor Claudius was hard-hearted king who continuously engaged Rome in bloody battles. But in order to keep fighting, he needed to keep recruiting soldiers. However, to his disappointment Claudius found that men were not willing to join army because of their attachment with their wives and families. In order to get rid of the issue, Claudius passed a callous decree that banned engagements and marriages in Rome. He also said that any priest who married a young couple would be put to death.

Young men and women found a savior in Valentine or Valentinus a romantic at heart priest. Even at the cost of his life, Valentine stood against the unjustified order and secretly arranged marriages with the help of Saint Marius. When Claudius finally found out about Valentine's defiance, he was brutally beaten up and put to prison. Later, Valentine was put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. For his martyrdom and service towards lovers Valentine was named a saint after his death.

By Middle Ages, Saint Valentine had become the patron saint of love and lovers in England and France. So, when Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to pagan celebrations of Feast of Lupercalia, he declared in 498 AD that 14th February be celebrated as Saint Valentine's Day. Since then lovers began to express their love on the martyrdom day of Saint Valentine.

   
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February Fertility Festivals

The association of middle of February with love and fertility goes back to ancient times. While ancient Athenians celebrated it as the month of Gamelion to celebrate the marriage of Greek Gods - Zeus and Hera, ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia to honor the Roman Gods of fertility - Lupercus and Faunus.

February Celebrations in Ancient Athens
Ancient Athens celebrated the period between mid January and mid February as the month of Gamelion. They dedicated the festival month to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera. In Greek mythology Zeus was the supreme ruler of the ancient Greek Gods while Hera was the Goddess of women, marriage and childbirth.

February Celebrations in Ancient Rome
Ancient Romans celebrated the ides of February as the festival of Lupercalia to secure fertility and keep out evil. The Feast of Lupercalia was dedicated to the Roman Gods of Agriculture, Lupercus and Faunus along with Romulus and Remus - the legendary founders of Rome. A precursor of this festival was celebrated on February 14. The day was observed as a holiday in honor of Juno - the Queen of Roman Gods and Goddesses and also regarded as the Goddess of Women and Marriage.

During the February Fertility Festival of Lupercus, members of Lupercali an order of the Roman priests would gather in a sacred cave where Romulus and Remus are said to have been nurtured by she-wolf or lupa. To mark the beginning of the festival, priests would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. Young boys used to slice the goats hide into strips and dipped them in sacrificial blood. Later, boys clad in animal skin would run about the streets of Rome holding pieces of goatskin above their head and gently slapping women and fields with the animal hide. Womenfolk gladly received the slap, as they believed that touch of the goatskin would render them fruitful and bring easy childbirth. Because the youths impersonated male goats (the embodiment of sexuality), the ceremony was believed to be in honor of Fanus.

Another unique custom of Feast of Lupercalia was the pairing of young boys and girls who otherwise lived a strictly separated lives. During the evening, all the young marriageable girls used to place a chit of their name in a big urn. Each young man used to draw out a name of a girl from the urn and became paired with that girl for the rest of the year. Quite often, the paired couple would fall in love and marry.

Later, when Christianity spread through Rome, the custom of finding a mate through lottery was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. People felt that mates should be chosen by sight and not luck. Around 498 AD, Pope Gelasius declared 14th February as Valentine's Day to honor saint Valentine of Rome - the patron saint of love and lovers. Even in present time lovers all over the world celebrate the festival of Valentine's Day with joy and verve.

Happy Valentine's Day 2010 !

 

 Valentines Day for Lovers

Valentine's Day festival holds immense importance for those in love. Lovers around the world anxiously wait for the festival as it gives them an opportunity to express love for their beloved and spend a day in togetherness. Celebrating the festival in a traditional manner lovers go out for date in a park or spend time looking into the eyes of their partners over a candlelight dinner. Indulging sweethearts with fresh flowers mainly red roses, chocolates, cards and other gifts of love is the other most popular custom of Valentine's Day for lovers.

Historic Association of Valentine's Day with Romantic Love
Ever since its inception Valentine's Day has been associated with romantic love. Valentine's Day originated in pagan times when people celebrated February 14 in honor of Roman God of Fertility. This fertility festival coincided with beginning of the spring and was popularly known as the Feast of Lupercalia.A popular custom of this festival was pairing of young boys and girls for a year through a lottery system. The couples would eventually fall in love and marry.

Another story that linked Valentine's Day festival to the day of romance goes back to the reign of Emperor Claudius II of Rome. A hardhearted king, Claudius constantly engaged Rome in bloody battles. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers for his army and felt that the reason why many men are not willing to become soldiers was their attachment with wives and families. In order to get rid of the cause of the problem perceived Claudius banned marriages and engagements in Rome. Young men and women found a savior in Saint Valentine, who defied Claudius's decree and arranged secret marriages. Valentine's act of defiance was noticed and he was put to death by Claudius on February 14 circa 270 AD. Later, when Christianity spread through Rome, Christian Church decided to turn the popular pagan event as a Christian celebration in honor of St Valentine. St Valentine's Day festival gradually came to be celebrated as a day to express love for sweethearts.

Besides, during the Middle ages, people in England and France believed that February 14 marked the beginning of birds mating season. This belief further boosted the idea that February 14 should be celebrated as a day for romance.

Valentines Day Celebration by Lovers
Elaborate plans are made by lovers to celebrate Valentine's Day festival in the much-popularized romantic fashion. For some lovers the day begins by whispering I love you' in the ears of beloved. The romantic gesture is usually accompanied with an exchange of red roses, chocolates, cards and other gifts. Most lovers plan to spend the entire day in the company of their beloved and celebrate being in love. All around the city, be it parks, mall, restaurants or discotheques one can find couples celebrating the idea of being in love. Such lovey-dovey celebrations often continue till late in the night as several clubs and hotels organize Valentine's Day balls and dance parties. Those away from their Valentine keep in touch through e-mails and phone. Sending online Valentine's Day gifts is fast becoming a fad amongst lovers separated by a distance.

Though one may say that love is to be celebrated everyday and not just one, lovers cherish the fact that there is exclusively a festival that celebrates love and lovers and provides opportunity to pamper their beloved with love.

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Valentines Day for Lovers

Valentine's Day festival holds immense importance for those in love. Lovers around the world anxiously wait for the festival as it gives them an opportunity to express love for their beloved and spend a day in togetherness. Celebrating the festival in a traditional manner lovers go out for date in a park or spend time looking into the eyes of their partners over a candlelight dinner. Indulging sweethearts with fresh flowers mainly red roses, chocolates, cards and other gifts of love is the other most popular custom of Valentine's Day for lovers.

Historic Association of Valentine's Day with Romantic Love


Ever since its inception Valentine's Day has been associated with romantic love. Valentine's Day originated in pagan times when people celebrated February 14 in honor of Roman God of Fertility. This fertility festival coincided with beginning of the spring and was popularly known as the Feast of Lupercalia.A popular custom of this festival was pairing of young boys and girls for a year through a lottery system. The couples would eventually fall in love and marry.

Another story that linked Valentine's Day festival to the day of romance goes back to the reign of Emperor Claudius II of Rome. A hardhearted king, Claudius constantly engaged Rome in bloody battles. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers for his army and felt that the reason why many men are not willing to become soldiers was their attachment with wives and families. In order to get rid of the cause of the problem perceived Claudius banned marriages and engagements in Rome. Young men and women found a savior in Saint Valentine, who defied Claudius's decree and arranged secret marriages. Valentine's act of defiance was noticed and he was put to death by Claudius on February 14 circa 270 AD. Later, when Christianity spread through Rome, Christian Church decided to turn the popular pagan event as a Christian celebration in honor of St Valentine. St Valentine's Day festival gradually came to be celebrated as a day to express love for sweethearts.

Besides, during the Middle ages, people in England and France believed that February 14 marked the beginning of birds mating season. This belief further boosted the idea that February 14 should be celebrated as a day for romance.

Valentines Day Celebration by Lovers
Elaborate plans are made by lovers to celebrate Valentine's Day festival in the much-popularized romantic fashion. For some lovers the day begins by whispering I love you' in the ears of beloved. The romantic gesture is usually accompanied with an exchange of red roses, chocolates, cards and other gifts. Most lovers plan to spend the entire day in the company of their beloved and celebrate being in love. All around the city, be it parks, mall, restaurants or discotheques one can find couples celebrating the idea of being in love. Such lovey-dovey celebrations often continue till late in the night as several clubs and hotels organize Valentine's Day balls and dance parties. Those away from their Valentine keep in touch through e-mails and phone. Sending online Valentine's Day gifts is fast becoming a fad amongst lovers separated by a distance.

Though one may say that love is to be celebrated everyday and not just one, lovers cherish the fact that there is exclusively a festival that celebrates love and lovers and provides opportunity to pamper their beloved with love.