A brief history of Valentine’s Day

The Valentine’s Day of today is known as the ultimate time for many to celebrate the romance and love in their lives (and to others may serve as a morbid reminder of their solitude). There is little historical evidence of how this jovial holiday came about, but various stories point to some dark and bloody origins. The most popular legend is that Valentine’s Day is connected to the ancient Romans’ feast Lupercalia, where men and women were paired by lottery. Men would sacrifice a goat and dog and use the hides to whip their women. The activity was believed to make the women fertile. The naming of the modern holiday of love may have come from Saint Valentine of Rome. The Saint supposedly was executed for performing marriages for soldiers against Emperor Claudius II’s decree that soldier remain bachelors. Some accounts of this story add that on the evening before his execution, Saint Valentine wrote a letter that he signed as “Your Valentine,” a popular signature of today’s valentine cards.

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