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History of Valentine's Day

14 Feb 2011

Today is Valentine's Day! Watch this interesting video about the history of the holiday from the History channel:

Read more for the transcript!


  • Ah, love!
  • While it may not be what makes the world go round, it is what makes the ride worthwhile
  • Maybe that's why billions of people throughout the centuries have seen fit to dedicate an entire day to grand gestures of romance with Valentine's Day
  • The only holiday best celebrated in pairs
  • "The History of the Holidays"
  • For all its popularity, history doesn't give us any guarantees as to the origins of Valentine's Day
  • But we do know that it contains vestiges of the early Christian church and ancient Rome
  • The association between mid-February and romance goes back to a pagan festival known as Lupercalia
  • Likely honoring either Lupa, the she-wolf of Rome, who suckled Romulus and Remus
  • Or Faunus, their god of fertility
  • The festivities began with an animal sacrifice
  • Then the ritualistic slapping of young women with strips of the animal's skin and blood to bestow fertility for the coming year
  • In the 5th [fifth] century, perhaps in an effort to Christianize the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th [fourteenth] as Saint Valentine's Day
  • As for the real Saint Valentine, there were reportedly several canonized by the church
  • Legend has it, that one Saint Valentine, a defiant Roman priest, lived during the third century AD under Emperor Claudius II
  • Claudius was an ambitious ruler
  • His battles required vast armies of men, to abandon their young families for long periods of time
  • Resulting in a military that was half-hearted and homesick
  • So determined was Claudius to stop love from sapping the will of his armies, he banned marriages altogether
  • Father Valentine thought the ban unjust and defied the emperor, continuing to marry young lovers in secret
  • The emperor eventually caught on to the priest's actions, arrested him and sentenced him to death
  • It is believed that young couples he had secretly wed, would visit his cell, passing him flowers and notes through the bars as symbols of their gratitude
  • The story continues that the condemned Father Valentine fell in love with his jailer's daughter
  • On February 14th [fourteenth], the day he was executed, it is said that he passed the young girl a note
  • It was signed, "from your Valentine"
  • A tradition was born
  • Cupid, the winged matchmaker, started out as the Roman god of love, inspired the image of cherubs for Christians and is now a favorite of card makers and mass marketers
  • Our modern Valentine's Day, removed from its religious and pagan past, has evolved into one of the most celebrated holidays on the calendar
  • On average Americans shower their loved ones with 180 million roses, red ones naturally!
  • And almost 36 million heart-shaped boxes of candy
  • Not to mention all those cards, dinners and diamonds
  • All told, the holiday brings in almost 14 billion dollars annually, giving retailers plenty to love as well
  • But if you're worried that you can't afford to treat your loved one properly next Valentine's Day, take heart!
  • The poets were right, love is really all you need
  • "How romantic"
Anonymous's picture

Hello !

I can not see the video you uploaded..

Its true that the whole world is in the thirst of love..
Even every materialistic thing is available in life the person can not be happy...

But the ultimate love is love with yourself or with the person whom you can never think different from you...

Where you want nothing from the person and can risk not sacrifice everything for that person...

There is one of the valentine s day quotes that

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. . . . It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more..

By:Lee Iacocca

Posted by: Anonymous (not verified) | Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 03:42