Dylan Yaggy breaks down Valentine’s Day

Dylan Yaggy

Dylan Yaggy, Staff Writer and Podcaster

Americans alone will spend roughly 19.2 billion dollars for Valentine’s Day in 2020. People spend so much on this holiday, but, do they know the history of the day? Before the 5th century, there was no Valentine’s day, instead, there was a Roman festival called Lupercalia which celebrated the coming of spring. The festival also had fertility rites and pairing women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius I replaced the day with St. Valentine’s day.
There are three legends surrounding why it was called Valentine’s Day. The first is about a priest who was martyred about 270CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. That priest was accounted to have signed a letter to the jailer’s daughter, “from your valentine,” he befriended the daughter and healed her blindness. St. Valentine of Terri was the second suspected legend, it is possible he was the saint from talked about before. The final legend is of a man who defied the emperor’s orders and married couples quietly to spare the men of going to war and is believed why the day is connected to love.
The formal valentines started in the 1500s and in 1700s commercial cards started being used. The first commercial card made in the US was in the mid-1800s. Valentines normally depicts the Roman god of love, Cupid alongside hearts. Birds were also added because of the Avian mating season around the same time. Candy and flowers, mainly roses were seen as symbols of beauty and love. I hope that you learned something new from this about the romantic holiday.