Valentine’s Day

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February 14, 2018 all-day

History of Valentine’s Day

Historically, Valentine’s Day 2018 is said to have originated in Europe and made it’s way to North America in the 19th century by British settlers. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honouring saints named Valentinus.

Several stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were told. It is said that the popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome inspired the holiday. Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Today, Valentine’s Day 2018 is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.