The history and origin of Romantic Letters in AmericaSaint Valentine’s Day History
There are different options of the origin of Valentine’s Day and Saint Valentine’s story. One of the most popular version announce that Saint Valentine (in Latin Valentinus) was a priest and lived during an ancient Roman Empire, when an ancient Rome was under the reign of Emperor Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus. Priest Valentine was marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians who were at that time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Eventually one day Saint Valentine was caught and condemned to be beaten to death with club and to have his head cut off. During the time when Saint Valentine spent in a jail, the jailer’s daughter became his friend. Saint Valentine died on February 14, 269A.D. Legend also says that Saint Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter and signed it, “ Love from your Valentine”.
On the same day when Saint Valentine died, was devoted to love lotteries. In ancient Rome every year on February 14 was a holiday to honor Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. On the following day, February 15 began the Feast of Lupercalia. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl’s name from the jar and would then be partner for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of young men and women lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
One and half century later, during an early Christianity, the pastors in Rome endeavored to get away from pagan element in this feast substituted Lupercalia by Saint Valentine’s day. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius officially set aside February 14 to honor Saint Valentine.
Valentine’s Day Traditions
Hundred of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine’s Day. They went singing from home to home and sang:
Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine---
Two before and three behind.
Good morning to you, valentine.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their valentines. This custom was taken from pagan festival Lupercalia in ancient Rome.
In some countries in the evening of day preceding February 14, unmarried, young woman eats a very salty, home mad pie and all the evening don’t drink even small amount of water, to induce thirst. During the night young woman used to believe would see in her dream a young man, who would give her a glass of water to satisfy her thirst. That young man would be her valentine and future fiancé.
Think of five or six names of boy or girls you might marry. As you twist the steam of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
Historical Love Letters web site. Monday, November 10,2008.