Happy Valentine’s Day 2020: Every year on February 14, different facets of love are celebrated. Commonly known as Valentine’s Day, red roses and balloons make for a common sight and it’s eagerly awaited by couples.
For the uninitiated, the day gets its name after a mysterious saint, though many believe that it could owe its origins to probably more than one person. Some consider him to be a priest, who aided Christian couples in love to be bonded in matrimony and was reportedly beheaded by Emperor Claudius II. Valentine’s origin can also be traced to the Roman festival of fertility known as Lupercalia.
The legend goes that the day is celebrated to mark the death anniversary of Saint Valentine who passed away mid-February in 270 AD. Many also believe that the day was celebrated as an attempt by the Church to add a religious twist to the Lupercalia festival.
The Roman festival was dedicated to Faunus, the god of agriculture; and Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Celebrations there consisted of men choosing names of women from a box. Consequently; they would be paired with them during the festival. often; this ended in marriage.
It was by the end of the 5th century; that Pope Gelasius decided the time of Lupercalia celebrations as the date to celebrate Saint Valentine. This was also what ultimately tied up love and romance.
St Valentine also happens to be one of the characters in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.