What is the True Meaning of Valentine’s Day?

Steeped in history and tradition, Valentine’s Day is more than a day for gifts and love letters. Unfold the legend of St. Valentine, and discover how to embrace the true essence of this global celebration of love.

Unfolding the History

Valentine’s Day, celebrated annually on February 14th, is commonly associated with the exchange of love messages, chocolates, and gifts between loved ones. But looking further back into history, the origins can be traced to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was later Christianized into St. Valentine’s Day.

The Legend of St. Valentine

The celebrations are said to be in honor of St. Valentine, a Roman priest from the 3rd century AD. Legend has it that he secretly married young couples against the orders of the Emperor Claudius II, who believed single men made better soldiers. Eventually, Valentine was imprisoned for his actions and executed on February 14. While in jail, he reportedly fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and signed a letter to her as ‘Your Valentine’, a phrase still in use today.

The Modern-Day Celebrations

Today, Valentine’s Day transcends religious affiliations and is celebrated worldwide. More than an exchange of material affections, the day serves as a reminder to express love and appreciation for the people in our lives.

  • According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were predicted to spend an average of $196.31 on Valentine’s Day in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019.
  • In the UK, it is estimated that approximately 25 million cards are sent each year.

Despite these figures, the true essence of Valentine’s Day lies not in the price tag of the gifts, but in the sentiment behind them.

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