VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE?

Valentines Day has come and gone, a lot of romantic people wrapped many special gift for their special ones. Valentines Day is celebrated almost everywhere in the world including Nigeria, which means it is widely accepted. However, there is a reason, Valentines day came to be and many people probably don’t know it especially here in Nigeria, and so many people indulge in negative activities in the name of Valentines day, many will be pregnant, some will lost their lives and some will end up in prison for something they lack knowleadge of how it came into existence, hence this article to enlighten millions of Nigerians that celebrated Valentines Day yearly.
First of all, who is or who are the actor, legend of Valentine?
THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated by pagans as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition {Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus}. 
But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
Fact to Know
Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred (One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna {now Terni, Italy} and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa). 

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270A.D.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. 

Legends vary on how the martyr’s name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. 
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day. In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.
Today, Valentine has become one of the most popular saints in England and France. 

 HOW THE LUPERCALIA FESTIVAL WAS CELEBRATED
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. 

They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. 
Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn as I mention above, the city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
TYPICAL VALENTINE’S DAY GREETINGS
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

This is how the celebration of Valentines Day spread accross the world, and today is being celebrated accross Nigeria too, so, next time you want to celebrate Valentines day, you already have ample knowledge of what you are celebrating but ensure you do all to the glory of God and not indulge in bad thing. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Source(s): History.com
VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE? VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE? Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on February 15, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments:

Your comments and recommendations will be appreciated

Powered by Blogger.