What do single people call Valentine’s Day? Happy Independence Day!
Jokes aside, it’s the time of the year that some people love, and some people love to hate. If you are in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is a day of love…and chocolate, flowers, cards, even jewelry. If you’re single or just not a fan of the commercial holiday, then you’re waiting for the real deal: Feb. 15. Those of you who know, know. This is when all the chocolates and Valentine’s Day candy go on sale for half off or more.
All of this said, what really is Valentine’s Day? The holiday was originally a pagan festival, Lupercalia, celebrated Feb. 13-15. The basis of this celebration was the promotion of health and fertility through the purification of the city. Valentine’s Day was later named in remembrance of Father Valentine, a clergyman in third-century Rome who ministered to persecuted and imprisoned Christian. During this time, Emperor Claudius banned marriages for young men. He wanted them to be unattached and without children so they would be more willing to go fight for him. Despite the ban, Father Valentine would secretly wed couples. When Claudius found out, he sentenced the clergyman to death. Father Valentine died a martyr on Feb. 14.
The story goes that on the day of his execution, a note was passed to the jailer’s daughter, who was a person whom he had supposedly healed of her blindness and befriended. The letter was signed “from your Valentine.”
In some religions, Valentine is now known as the patron saint of love.