St Valentine’s or Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday observed on the 4th of February every year in most countries of the world. It is not a public holiday in most of the countries celebrating it though. Loved ones exchange candy, flowers, red hearts and other gifts in the name of St Valentine’s Day to celebrate their love. It’s second of holidays in popularity in card sending after Christmas. Although Valentine’s Day is a feast day, the origin of this day is dark from the ancient Roman times. St Valentine’s Day has a broad perspective and different beliefs about its origin containing vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.
There are at least three Saint Valentines associated with Valentine’s Day who were all martyrs according to the Catholic Church. One Valentine was put to death in the third century for defying Emperor Claudius II‘s decree. The decree outlawed marriage for young men since they made better soldiers than the married but Valentine still performed marriages for young men.
The expression “From your Valentine” that’s in use even today is suggested to have come from a Valentine in prison. He wrote a letter with the expression to a jailer’s daughter he had fallen in love with while in prison. Valentine had shown himself as a hero and romantic through his actions.
Customs that mark the day like writing of letters originated from English and France where it was believed that mid the month of February birds began to pair. Therefore it was seen as special for lovers to write and send love letters and those who chose each other in such circumstances called each other Valentines.
Valentine’s Day is made to celebrate human relationships in many parts of the world. People take it as a day of appreciating their special ones. It is marked by sending cards to lovers, parents, teachers and siblings to show affection and emotions that represent love. This day is used by many to discover love and other emotions that are relevant to love universally.
Valentine’s Day is used in Anglican churches as a day for the optional rite of renewal of marriage vows. This day has been criticised due to its commercialization by some people who argue that love should be cherished everyday but not only on a specific day. Nevertheless, its popularity is increasing on a daily basis.