The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day: One Writer’s Search


Kayla Vlashi, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is an annual holiday meant to celebrate friendships, crushes, and romantic relationships.

The tradition takes place every year on the same date, February 14th. Valentine’s Day originates from ancient Roman/Christian traditions. Beginning with the saint known as “Saint Valentine”, the holiday has been celebrated since 496 AD.

Every tradition starts somewhere, and learning how Valentine’s day came to be had me surprised.

While researching I came to learn that there is more than one origin. The first one being when Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine, on February 14th in the 3rd century A.D. Now the question is; how did this lead to a holiday associated with love and gifts? Let’s start from the beginning, Emperor Claudius had just banned marriage, believing it led men to becoming bad soldiers.

Valentine broke this rule and had arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown into jail and sentenced to death. While in his cell, Valentine had fallen in love with the jailer’s daughter, and before he was executed he signed a love letter to her “from your Valentine.”

Others insist that it had been Saint Valentine of Terni, who was the true namesake for Valentine’s Day. He had also been beheaded by Emperor Claudius.

Another suggestion has been that the holiday has origins in the Pagan festival of Lupercalia, which celebrated the coming of spring, as well as women’s fertility. The ritual that followed for the festival consisted of sacrifices to enhance the women’s luck in becoming pregnant, as well as praising Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

Leading up to modern day tradition, February 14th is a day dedicated to showing affection to the people you love, which creates excitement and a warm feeling everybody can experience.