Do you know what Valentine’s Day is about? Generally in Spain, people don’t like this day and they say it’s just a holiday made up by El Corte Inglés (a big department store in Spain). Many of my English and American friends asked their Spanish partners what they were going to do on February 14, like going out eating, travel somewhere, or just hanging out showing their love. What they’ve been getting as a response has just been weird looks or phrases like “why should we celebrate our love on a made up day?”
I ran into an old friend the other day and he was devastated that his girlfriend despised Valentine’s Day, and she said it was just a silly day made up by the stores in order to gain more money. He got a bit angry and wanted to look it up, was it just a commercial day and nothing about true love?
The stories about Valentine’s day’s origin are many, but the one that is most told is that Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. The emperor Claudius II had recently prohibited young men to marry because he thought that they made better soldiers without having wife and family. Valentine did not agree though and defied his emperor by continuing to perform marriages between young lovers in secret. His actions were discovered and the Claudius II sent him to death. Before the martyr, Valentine wrote a letter to his loved one and he finished the letter with the words “from your Valentine”, and this was on February 14.
Since then this phrase has been used in loving moments to express love between two individuals, but it wasn’t until the end of the fifth century that February 14 was announced to be called St. Valentine’s Day.
Celebrations of this day are dated back to the Middle Ages and the oldest, and still existent, love poem sent as a Valentine’s gift is from 1415 and was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans.