Love is in the air and people around the world are looking for cupid’s arrow to shoot their way. February 14, the day of love, has been celebrated now for decades upon decades. But where did this holiday really begin and why do we celebrate it today? Was there a day in our ancient history when lovers all around the world bought chocolate and flowers for each other, or was this holiday created in response to bird mating season; or the deaths of three saints in past centuries?
The holidays that we celebrate today stem from historical events. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it all traces back to Saint Valentine and what he is known for.
While historians cannot pinpoint the original start of St. Valentine’s Day, they do have several ideas about where this day came from. There were known to be three different Saint Valentines in the early Roman Empire. All three of them chose to suffer death rather than go against their religious beliefs. The first legend of St. Valentine’s Day, according to Katherine Wells of A&E Television Networks, came from 3rd century Rome when the emperor outlawed marriage. Valentine, who was a priest, would perform secret marriages between young men and women. Once he was discovered, he was sent to prison and sentenced to death. In prison, Valentine fell in love with the prison guard’s daughter, and before he was put to death Valentine wrote the daughter a letter and signed it, “From your Valentine.” Today, most Valentine’s are signed with that exact line, which carries out the original tradition.
In Rome, February is the beginning of spring. In the middle of the month of February they hold a festival in honor of the Juno, “the goddess of feverish love.” During this festival all of the young women write their names on a small sheet of paper and place them in a jar. Then the bachelors choose a name. That is then the name of the girl that the man will spend his next year with. Usually, this year will end in lasting love thus supporting Valentine’s Day as being the day of love.
Since the beginning of spring begins during the month of February, it also happens to be the beginning of bird mating season. Historians believe that this connection is just another reason that February should contain a day for romance.
Some people believe that cupid’s holiday is overrated and can be considered a “Hallmark Holiday.” Quinnipiac is full of other opportunities to spread the Valentine’s spirit. Several organizations are sponsoring flower and balloon sales, which allow you to send a message to that special someone, but not everybody is under loves spell.
Sophomore Tiffany Manzi is “a little upset” that she cannot spend her holiday with her boyfriend “but it’s not the most important holiday to miss,” she said. Manzi celebrated Valentine’s Day in the past. However, with her and her boyfriend being at two different schools it makes it hard to get together on a week day.
The success of this holiday all comes down to whether or not cupid has struck you with his arrow of love.
February 14 is a day that some people dread, yet some people await. It is full of disappointments and surprises, but you will not find out until the day arrives. Do you have a valentine?