The not so sweet origin of Valentines


You’ve probably heard that Valentine’s Day is some scheme made by Hallmark for marketing and consumerism and while this may be true,there are three events that should be remembered when considering it’s origin. 

Let’s take a step back to Rome in the 5th century A.D. On February 15 a commonly known Roman-Pagan holiday known as Lupercalia takes place, the holiday of fertility and sex. This holiday was commonly celebrated with women making clay slabs with their names and having men randomly select from the tablets to create a randomly paired couple. There are also accounts that two young men would kill and sacrifice goats and dogs and use the hides to beat and slap their wives and lovers with the hides to “promote fertility.” How romantic!

Now that we’ve gotten down and dirty lets step forward to the naming of Valentine’s Day, more formally known St. Valentine’s Day. Named after the Saint, Valentine. He was known when under the rule of Claudius II  to marry young couples in secret. Cladius who used unmarried to use them in war as soldiers because they weren’t as needed if they died. Eventually Valentine was put to death for his actions defying Claudius’ rule and the day was named after him for uniting young love in dire situations. 

With the Holiday holding a more passionate and romantic aura, the continuing of celebrating Valentine’s continued to meet further into the holiday we know today. In the 1700s it became popular to carve hearts in turnips and cut heart shapes out of paper with compliments and other decorations such as lace and ribbons as tokens of each others affections.

Knowing that your day of romance comes from the strangest and also the sweetest bits of history, you can go on to tell the world that Hallmark did not invent this holiday. And remember that just because it started a crazier, possibly violent holiday doesn’t mean that it should be trashed on its presence in modern society.