There is much mystery and rumors surrounding Valentines Day. A reason for this is that the earliest observances of the day date back to the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, many records from the period have rarely survived the trip into present day.
Some notes on the origins of the holiday can be found in, “Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays” by Robert J. Myers.
“The most plausible theory for St. Valentine’s Day traces its customs back to the Roman Lupercalia, a feast celebrated in February in honor of the pastoral god Lupercus during the Lupercalia,” Myers writes.
“But in honor of the goddess Juno, the names of young women were put into a box,” he continues. “Youths then drew the names and the boys and girls so matched would be considered partners for a year.”
The day became known as St. Valentine’s Day when the Christians later came into power.
It has been said that there were as many as eight saints carrying the name of Valentine, all with their feast day on Feb. 14. Two of the Valentine’s were said to have been beheaded by Emperor Claudius II in 269 A.D.
Whatever the true origins of the day, the celebrations have changed. The day still seems to be mainly for couples. Gifts are exchanged, traditionally including cards, candy or flowers.
Regarding the Saint Valentines, questions remain as to which one of them decided to make the day into a lover’s day.
According to www.history.com, one of the Valentines sent a love letter to a girl, signing it “From your Valentine.” This gesture ultimately started the tradition of sending valentines cards to loved ones.
Valentine’s Day, while seemingly fun and celebratory, does not interest everybody it seems.
Stores get into the Valentine’s Day spirit. The holiday ranks second only to Christmas in terms of the number of cards purchased for others.
But even with the reminders of love in the air, some people simply don’t buy into the holiday spirit.
“I don’t like it,” freshman Danielle Galbreath said. “It’s not one of my favorite holidays.