The History of Valentine’s Day

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Valentine's Day, a day when people around the world celebrates and show love, affection and friendship to the ones they love, however, not many people really know how this day really appeared and how it was used to celebrate. To find out how this romantic day began and the way how it was celebrated, will need to trace back all the way to Ancient Rome and also to the 3rd Century. What's more is that there was also a contrast saying towards the origin.

There are several interesting legends involved in the history of Valentine's Day, one of which occurred in Ancient Roman time and the other during the 3rd century. To begin, the history of Valentine's Day goes a long way back to the Ancient Roman times. Back then; February was believed to be the beginning of Spring, which was a time for purification. Houses would be swept and cleansed.

The inside of the house was then sprinkled by salt and a type of wheat called spelt ("The History of Valentine's Day", 2004). Following on, in the middle of this month, a pagan Lupercalia festival was held (Farmer, 1978: 388). Some sources said the festival was dedicated to Juno, the pagan goddess of Love and Marriage and was celebrated on the 14th of February ("Valentine's Day 2004", 2003) while other sources believe it occurred on the 15th of February to honor Faunus, the Roman God of agriculture, and also to Romulus and Remus, the Roman founders ("The History of Valentine's Day", 2004). Nevertheless, the way of celebrating this festival was practically the same.

Today, people celebrate Valentine's Day by exchanging cards and gifts, but back then, the way this day was celebrated was by what was known as the "Roman Lottery", which was later thought to be 'unchristian'...