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Kian F.

Kaitlin W.
1/27/17

​ ​The History of the Lovely Holiday, Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s day is a very famous holiday that is celebrated all over the
world. People give out valentines to family, friends, classmates and sweethearts,
but many don’t know about its origins. This article will surely tell you all about the
holiday called Valentine’s Day!
According to ​History.com’s article
titled “History of Valentine’s Day”​,
Valentine’s Day is associated with the
patron St. Valentine. There are at least
three different saints named St. Valentine.
One story tells that Emperor Claudius
outlawed young men marrying because
single men supposedly made better
soldiers. Valentine decided to defy him and
perform marriages for young people, but
when he was found out he was executed.
Another tale tells that Valentine helped Christian escape out of Roman jails. As
the story goes, he sent the first “valentine” to the jailer's daughter because he
had fallen in love. He had signed it “From your Valentine”, which is a phrase
people still use today.
Some people theorize that the holiday is celebrated on the anniversary of
Valentine’s death. However, others think the Christian Church placed the day on
the middle of February to “christianize” the pagan holiday Lupercalia. Lupercalia
is a festival for the god of agriculture Faunus. It is also a day dedicated to
Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.
To begin the holiday, Roman priests go the chosen cave where
supposedly Romulus and Remus were raised by a mother wolf. Then the priests
would sacrifice a goat and a dog, each representing fertility and purification. The
goat hide would be cut in strips, dipped in blood, then was used to hit women and
crop fields to make them more fertile. Later, all the women would place their
names in a jar. The bachelors would pick a name from there and then they’d be
married.
Lupercalia was thought as an un-christian holiday, and was made illegal.
However, later on, the festival became associated with love, as the day was the
beginning of the mating season of birds. Valentine’s greetings were a popular
way to show affection. The oldest definitive one was the one written by the Duke
of Orleans to his wife who was imprisoned.
Valentine’s day continued to become more popular until it became the
holiday it is today. The holiday became popular in Great Britain in the 17th
century, and by the 18th century, sending small tokens of affection, such as
handwritten letters to your friends and partners became pretty common. By the
1900s, pre-printed cards were started to be created because of advancements in
printing technology.
Americans likely started to celebrate Valentine’s in early on in the 17th
century. During the 1840s, Esther A. Howland became known as the “Mother of
the Valentine” for selling her mass-produced valentine creations made of ribbons
and lace. The valentines were also decorated with illustrations called “scrap.”
According to the Greeting Card Association, almost 1 billion Valentine’s Day
cards are sent each year in the 21st century. This makes it the second biggest
card-sending holiday after Christmas, which sends approximately 2.6 billion
cards. 85% of all valentines are purchased by women.
Here at CMS, Valentine’s day means different things to different people
and everyone has their own traditions. For example, an anonymous eighth
grader says that he says, “Hi,” to his crush on Valentine’s day, but Rayyane M., a
seventh grader, says that he doesn’t doing anything special. Linnea W., a
seventh grader, says that she intends to buy 2 teddy bear grams and she is “not
[going to] say who they’re for.” Ms. Autsen, who teaches sixth grade math and
science, says that “. . .Valentine’s day is about recognizing people that you love
and people that love you. I think it’s important to tell the people in your life that
you love them, but I don’t think it’s necessary to give them presents on
Valentine’s day.”

In conclusion, Valentine’s day has an interesting history. There are several
different theories about which St. Valentine inspired the holiday. At CMS, we all
have different opinions about it and traditions, but it’s still an important holiday
with a fascinating past.