Reality is stranger than fiction and Valentine’s Day proves it right every time. More you peep into the history of Valentine’s Day more thrilled and stunned you feel. There are a lot of urban legends that describe how the day became so much popular and important for everyone around.
Honestly speaking, people celebrate the day to commemorate the significance of love in human life while emphasizing the contribution to Saint Valentines who made it an occasion to celebrate love while sacrificing his own. But the question arises here that who was St. Valentine and how the history of Valentine’s Day celebration began?
The origin of Valentine’s Day
1) Valentine’s Day in Literature: The credit for popularizing this day to a global scale goes to the legendary litterateurs William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer. These two literary stalwarts left an indelible mark in their works citing the relevance of Valentine’s Day. According to Henry Angar Kelly, the writer of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, there is a considerable of link between Valentine’s Day and romance. Chaucer also astutely described a poem in his time describing the engagement of England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemai. You can also get a lot of Valentine’s Day reference in William Shakespeare’s work.
2) St. Valentine’s Battle for Love: Another legend says that long ago, during the rule of wicked Roman emperor Claudius II, who drew flak from the people for his strong opposition to love, the Saint Valentine rose against him while championing the cause of love. Frustrated due to emperor’s strict order of no-marriage for soldieries, the saint started organizing marriages for them clandestinely but eventually he was caught and executed by the Roman emperor. Since that day, people started celebrating the occasion in memory of Saint Valentine.
3) Valentine’s Day Card Exchange: Some people say that the tradition of exchanging Valentine’s Day among each other began in the year 1700 AD in the US. Esther A Howland was the first woman who officially initiated the concept of sharing Valentine’s Day cards and other gifts with some romantic lines in them among the cupids. She was also known as the mother of the Valentine because she made it a viral tradition for the remaining few centuries together.
4) Valentine’s Day celebration in Great Britain: Though historically it is said that like the USA, the Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in the UK since 1700 AD. It was only during the later years of 18th century people stated sending small tokens of love or notes describing their affectionate feelings for one another. The same convention later turned into emails or SMS in the 21st century with massive improvement in technology.
5) Popular legend: One more legendary tale states that it was imprisoned Saint Valentine who wrote a letter to a little girl (believed to be a jailor’s daughter) before his execution and mentioned “from your valentine” while describing his love for that girl. These three words would become immortal in the coming years as more and more people started using these three words in their greetings that they send to their soulmate. Also, it is often said that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in loving memory of that Saint and his heroic to fight back against the tyranny of the roman emperor in those days.