Valentine Day—A day of Love
The Day of Love
Every day people show their love to their families, friends and near and dear ones by their words or actions. But there is a special day in a year when people all over the world celebrate their love. This special day is called Valentine’s Day—14th February of each year.
The history of the Valentine’s Day as a day of aroha began some centuries ago in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14 was a holiday to honour Juno, the queen of all the Roman Gods and Goddesses of women and marriage. The Romans believed that a dedicated prayer to Juno would help the young people getting married.
During the daytime, they held exciting activities. They names of young girls were written on slips of paper and were placed them in the vase. He would then be paired with the girl for another festival to honour the god Lupercus (LU-per-kus) that started next day. The hope was that during the next day’s festival the boy and girl would fall in love and would later get married.
LEGENDS OF ST. VALENTINE
At the end of the Roman Empire, Christianity began to spread across Europe. Even though the Christians still celebrated these festivals, they thought that the Roman names were unholy. So they eventually changed the Roman names to Christian ones.
In AD 486, Pope Gelasius (jel-A-shuss), the head of the Christian church, forbid the Roman people to hold the festival that would allow people to meet, fall in love, and marry. He named it after the Christian saint of love, Saint Valentine because of all the legends of love surrounded his life.
According to historical records, there more than 0ne saint named Valentine. But the facts of each are not clear. One legend says that Valentine was an early Christian priest who lived in Rome during the 3rd century. At that time, Emperor Claudius 11 wanted everyone to pray to the Roman Gods. But Valentine wouldn’t because he believed in the Christian church. So, Claudius prisioned him. Staying in jail, Valentine fall in love with the blind girl of the guard. On February 14th, Claudius ordered the guards to cut off Valentine’s head. Before he was taken away, Valentine gave a note to the blind girl. When she opened it, a miracle occurred. Her sight returned, and she could read his love note that he had signed, ”From your Valentine.” There is no evidence of these facts but this mythological story is popular decades after decades. In another legend, Emperor Claudius 11 created a law that said that no young man could marry. Claudius was having a hard time finding young men for his army. But Valentine didn’t find it right. So he performed marriages between young men and women in secret. When Claudius discovered this, he had Valentine killed on February 14. After Valentine was buried, an almond tree near his grave burst with pink flowers as a sign of love and all the birds chose mates.
Whichever legend seems more believable; both stories bear the evidences of true love.
FINDING A SWEETHEART
Over time, people started to believe that February 14, St. Valentine’s Day, was a day to find one’s sweetheart. During the middle Ages in England, people looked to nature for some help. They believed that February 14 was the day that birds, especially doves, began to choose their mates. So, the people thought that the same day might be the best one for them to fall in love, too.
Some More facts About Valentine day
· Cupid was the son of Venus, who was the Roman goddess of love and beauty. He flew around and shot people with invisible arrows that made them fall instantly in love.
· Doves have been used for centuries as messengers. People used to tie letters to their thin legs and then let them fly away to deliver them. On this V-day, the doves are thought of as messengers of love.
· The colours of Valentines are pink, red and white.
· A Frenchman named Duke Charles of Orleans was the first person to send valentines to his wife, in 1415, while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London.
· In Europe people started sending gifts to their valentines in 1600.
· Commercial valentines first appeared in the 1800s.
· In 1840s, the expensive commercial valentines came into existence
· During the reign of Queen Victoria, the fanciest valentines were created in England from 1840 to 1860.
· Esther Howland (1828-1904) was the first person to create valentines to sell in USA.