Why do we celebrate Valentine's?
Valentine’s Day as we know it is the celebration of love. Usually shown through giving gifts or secret cards to those we admire. But where did this tradition come from? Read more to find out.
It’s believed to have started way back in the 3rd Century by a Catholic priest named Saint Valentine. When the emperor, Claudius II, decided to outlaw marriage for young soldiers as they should be devoted to Rome, making them better soldiers without families. Valentine saw the injustice in this and started marrying the soldiers in secret ceremonies. When Saint Valentine was found out, he was sentenced to death.
During his time in prison, he fell in love with a young girl, some people believe he started the tradition by sending her love letters and signing them “From your Valentine”. Other stories suggested Valentine was killed for trying to help Christians escape the brutal Roman prisons. It is thought to be celebrated on the 14th February to commemorate Saint Valentine’s death.
By the middle of the 18th Century, written letters moved to the exchange of small tokens of affection. By the beginning of the 20th Century printed cards started replacing written letters as technologies improved. In the current day, Valentine’s Day is all about romantic gestures as well as gifts. In addition to the United Kingdom, Valentine’s is also celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France and Australia.