There’s a romantic answer to why Valentine’s Day is celebrated, and then there’s a historical answer. We promise we won’t bore you to death! We’re going to take a dip in the pool of love and figure out why February 14th is celebrated yearly with large hearts, chocolates, and bouquets of flowers. Because whether you’re trying out some new cheesy pick-up lines or you’re sending your BF romantic messages, Valentine’s Day has a special and different meaning for everyone.
Not only will we get to the boom of why Valentine’s Day is celebrated, but we’ve also got some one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day messages and Valentine’s Day gift ideas that you can use for your special someone that you love bunches!
Strap on those fluffy angelic wings and steady your bow; we’re going on a lovey-dovey gondola ride down Valentine’s Day history river!
In this article
The History of Valentine’s Day
Let’s get into why Valentine’s Day is celebrated by understanding the history behind this day of love. Brought to you by the smart cookies, or heart-shaped candies, if you will, over at the History channel!
In the case of Valentine’s Day, the origins are a little foggy. But, there are some strong ties that we’ll uncover. As with many holidays’ historical roots, Valentine’s Day is believed to be derived from a few possibilities.
The first Valentine’s Day-like holiday on record is known as Lupercalia, which is a Pagan holiday. During this time of celebration, it was believed that praise was given to Lupa, known as the she-wolf of Rome, and the Pagan God of Fertility, Faunus.
Around the 5th Century, a Pope by the name of Gelasius made it known that February 14th would be called St. Valentine’s Day. Historians believe that this decision was made in dedication to the late Father Valentine (Stick around to hear that heartbreaking story!) and also in the efforts of Christianizing the Pagan holiday Lupercalia.
Although we don’t have the perfect record of the origin of Valentine’s Day, we can all agree that it’s come a long way since Ancient Rome. And now, every individual can have their own special meaning for this day of grand love.
What is the Significance of Valentine’s Day?
Now that we know the broad origin of Valentine’s Day, we still need to know what is the significance of Valentine’s Day and why Valentine’s Day is celebrated. To get to the bottom of these questions, we’ll need to get the scoop on Mr. Valentine himself. Gather around for a story, oh curious ones!
Just as the origins of Valentine’s Day aren’t specifically pinpointed, there is speculation about the OG Valentine. Alas, we’ll share with you the most commonly believed original St. Valentine.
Trekking back to the 3rd Century is where we will find a Roman priest by the name of, you guessed it, Valentine. Father Valentine, as he was referred to, was not a fan of the ruler he served under, Emperor Claudius II.
The Emperor was extremely brutal to the men in his army, forcing them to abandon their families and cutting out marriages from their lives. (If there were a Grinch for Valentine’s Day, it would be this guy.) Well, Father Valentine was not about that un-romantic noise and carried on marrying couples who were in love in the shadows, away from the Emperor’s evil eye.
To the best of Father Valentine’s efforts, he was sadly discovered disobeying the Emperor’s laws and was sentenced to death. Before his last day, while stuck in his prison cell, history tells that he was visited by the couples he married together. They would come to bring him flowers and notes filled with love and gratitude (Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?) up until his last day. And on his last day on Earth before his execution on February 14th, he wrote a love note.
There was a sparkle of love in Father Valentine’s eye, and it was for the daughter of the jailer (Forbidden love strikes again!). He wrote her a love note that is famously signed “From your Valentine“.
Did you catch a few a-ha moments in there? So, what is the significance of Valentine’s Day? In the past, the day of love was intertwined with Roman Christianity, but as for the present, the day means something else. It is a day to pronounce your love to your special someone, to make them feel loved and appreciated, for life has many twists and turns and being in love makes the world feel lighter. If Father Valentine could see this holiday now, we’d like to think a little grin would be painted on his face.
Why is Valentine Day on February 14?
Why is Valentine Day on February 14th? As mentioned above in our little history lesson up above, around the 5th Century, Pope Gelasius announced that February 14th would be known as St. Valentine’s Day. The motivation for this divides into two possibilities:
- In efforts to Christianize the popular Pagan holiday Lupercalia.
- To honor Father Valentine, who was executed on February 14th.
Is Valentine’s Day Celebrated Worldwide?
Now that we’ve got our bases covered with the broad scope of why Valentine’s Day is celebrated, let’s ask the question is Valentine’s Day celebrated worldwide?
The answer is both yes, and no, believe it or not! In many countries, it is embraced as a beautiful day of love, chocolates, and cheesy cards. Some of those countries include Canada, the United States, Australia, Britain, Argentina, Mexico, France, and South Korea.
In the countries of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan, Valentine’s Day is not allowed to be celebrated, and there are severe consequences for doing so. To our understanding, the holiday is still seen in Christian roots and is associated with pre-martial sex and alcohol, which goes against the religions in those countries.
Speaking of countries and origins, have you ever wondered where that cute winged baby with the amazing bow accuracy comes into play? We’re talking about Cupid, of course, and we’ve got the history deets.
Cupid is actually the replacement for the symbol of love in Greek culture, and as we know, the symbol of Valentine’s Day itself, for the Greek God Eros in Greek Mythology. Down the line in Greek history, Eros was replaced with Cupid (Seen as the infant of the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite) because Greek women were not fond of the idea of a male God controlling their love. Now that’s some baddie-woman power energy right there! We bet the Greek women of that time would love Galentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
One of the cutesy things associated with V-Day is gifts; scootch over Christmas! Searching for some nice Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Check out our brainstorm list of thoughtful, low-cost, and lovely gift ideas to get your thoughts moving and grooving to the rhythms of love!
- A little basket filled with your significant other’s favorite things (Ex: Their favorite candy, favorite movie, a printout of their favorite picture of the two of you)
- Bring the gift of a fun experience to your special someone! Purchase tickets for a movie or a dancing class for two in the future, or if you’ve got the big bucks, book a trip. Who doesn’t love to make more memories with their loved one?
- Flowers attached with an original love poem
- A big list of reasons why you love them so much (Add cute doodles next to each reason, or cut out pictures of the two of you and place them next to your reasons!)
- Chocolate/candies that are individually wrapped, and each one has a tag that is singed with either goofy Dog Valentine’s Day puns, love notes, or for a special touch, you can jot down snippets of your favorite memories of the two of you
- Print out a nice picture of the two of you, frame it, wrap it, and give it to your significant other with a lovely love letter inside. They’ll be touched not only by the letter but also by the picture you picked out!
Valentine’s Day Message Ideas
It isn’t Valentine’s Day without a thoughtful and romantic formulation of words! Here are some lovely Valentine’s Day message Ideas that are bound to pull at the heartstrings of your lovely love. We’ve even added a feature within the Valentine’s Day messages so you may customize it specially for your significant other!
- Valentine’s Day used to be a cringe-worthy time of year for me, but ever since your name was engraved on my heart, this day is full of many things. It’s full of joy that I can call you mine. It’s full of adventure and wonders in the excitement of our future together. And above all, it’s full of love. For I love you, my [Significant other’s name] more than these words can portray. Thank you for continuing to be the reason why my life is a continuous Valentine’s Day, I love you!
- Happy Valentine’s Day, [Significant other’s name]! In the past, this day didn’t mean that much to me; just another holiday that companies could make money off of. But now, experiencing a love, I only thought was in rom-coms and best-selling novels, this day is so much more than that. The big companies can have their money, and the cheesy card aisle can carry on; Valentine’s Day to me is all about you, my love.
- Another beautiful Valentine’s Day with the best person EVER! [Significant other’s name], I love you so much. You bring so much laughter, light, and love to my life every single day. Truthfully, every day since we fell in love feels like Valentine’s Day because I just always feel so lucky to be with someone so amazing. Maybe that sounds cliche, but my goodness, is it true. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Happy V-Day to my true love! [Significant other’s name], you fill my heart with so much happiness, hope, and pure joy. Sometimes, it feels like it’s going to overflow! I know that I can always count on you, and that means the world to me, and I will always be here for you night and day. I love you more than you’ll ever know, and every day I’ll be here to show that to you!
- Today is a day full of love, and if that’s what qualifies as Valentine’s Day, then we should be celebrating every day! [Significant other’s name], I am so incredibly thankful for you every single day, not just today. My life has forever been changed for the better because of you, and I know that will always be the case. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’ll always do my very best to shower you with all the love, attention, and respect you deserve. I love you so much!
Let’s propose a loving toast to the answering of the grand question of why Valentine’s Day is celebrated! Why, it’s because there’s nothing in this world that compares to love, so why not spend a day celebrating it with the people and person you love the most! Whether you choose to spend the day with your best friends on Valentine’s day, or you want to shower your significant other in love poems and romantic gestures, now you know the history behind why Valentine’s Day is celebrated and know that there is power fueled by love on February 14th throughout history.