Origin of Valentines day

Origin of Valentines day


Valentine’s day as we all know is usually celebrated on the fourteenth February of every year. It is known as a day for celebrating love and doing things out of love. As we celebrate, it is good to know how the celebration of Valentine’s day came about.

Origin of Valentine’s Day

The origin of Valentine’s day has not really been known as there have been a series of stories on how it originated. The day is named after a man known as Saint Valentine.

The first story says that day was chosen by Pope Gelasius I. This was done to replace the Ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. The celebration was for fertility. During this celebration, men and women were matched by picking names for a container.

The second story has it that 14th February in the Ancient Greek was a day chosen to celebrate the celebration for the marriage of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera. Since it was a celebration of love, historians think this event birthed Valentine’s day.

The third story accounts that a certain priest known as Valentine was killed by a certain king. He was killed because he refused to denounce his religion. In anger, the king ordered his execution. He was executed on 14th February. He died for the love of his religion.

So every 14th February, the priest was celebrated. As others celebrate those that they love.

The forth story has it that a certain priest was killed because he violated the decree of a certain emperor. The Emperor made a command that the Roman soldiers and young men should not get married again. The Emperor made this decree because the surrounding countries threatened to conquer their territory.

For this reason, he ordered that more men be recruited into the army so as to strengthen the security of the nation. He felt that being married will make them too emotional. Also, they will lack concentration, hence, will be thinking about their wives.

Therefore, he forbid marriage at that time. The ban on marriage got the Romans flabbergasted. But they couldn’t protest.

Valentine was not pleased with this decree. Young men gave up on marriage and young ladies became frustrated. Valentine decided to join young lovers in marriage secretly. He usually give them a paper craved in the love shape. This paper contains a message of God’s love towards man.

He continued for a long time until he was caught and arrested. While awaiting his trial, a prison keeper named Asterius asked Valentine to heal his blind daughter and he did so. Emperor Claudius asked him to escape execution by accepting to worship the Roman god.

Instead of accepting the Roman gods, he tried to convert him. In annoyance, he ordered that Valentine should be killed. Before this, Valentine and Asterius’s daughter had developed a deep friendship. Before he was executed, he left a note: “From your Valentine“.

He was executed on 14th February. So all those that Valentine joined in matrimony began to remember 14th February of all years. Valentine died for the love of his religion.

According to the Real Simple Article, Saint Valentine story set the groundwork for establishing the day as a holiday for romantic love.

What truly solidified the connection between Saint Valentine and love was a poem by medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381, which historians consider the origin of the “modern” celebration of Valentine’s Day, where we celebrate our romantic partnership with another person.

Chaucer lived in the Middle Ages, the era of courtly love, when broad, romantic statements of devotion—poems, songs, paintings—celebrated partnership.

By the end of the 15th century, the word “Valentine” was being used to describe a lover in poems and songs of the day, and in the 18th century, a book called “The Young Man’s Valentine Writer” was published in England.

By the mid-19th century, mass-produced paper Valentine’s Cards were being created (though Valentine card ideas are still worth trying), and Valentine’s Day as we know it was born.

Misconception about Valentine’s day

Misconception according to Longman Dictionary is an idea which is wrong or untrue, but which people believe because they do not understand the subject properly.

There have been several misconceptions about valentine’s day. One of the misconceptions is that valentine’s day should be celebrated by lovers alone. This is not true because the main aim of Valentine’s is to celebrate love. It has no barrier. So it must be celebrated with everyone around us.

The second misconception is that valentine’s gift should be expensive. You don’t have to spend your one month salary on gift especially in the time we are. The important thing is that it is given out of love and it is presentable.

The third misconception is that valentine’s day is for ladies alone. This is false. Every one whether male or female should be celebrated during valentine’s day. Just as the men would spend on their women, women should surprise their men this year.

In fact, the poor, the needy and the less privilege should be celebrated.
The fourth misconception is that Valentine’s day is a day that people should squander their money, drink and get drunk.

Lastly, some people think that they can only show love to their partner on Valentine’s day. 14th February is just a day to remember St. Valentine and what he did. Every day should be a valentine in our marriages, relationships and families. It will so bad to show love to people around us once in a year.


Although it is hard to find the authentic story, we should also note that all the stories have one central theme which is love. This means that we should show love during Valentine’s day. Nowadays, people celebrate their lovers as well as people around them on Valentine’s day.

Do you have a more interesting story on Origin of Valentine’s day? Please respond using the comment section below and we will update the content and provide feedback if required.

One Response
  1. Odey Fidelis

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