Now that Super Bowl 50 is over, our attention can focus squarely on the next big Sunday event – the “Super Bowl” day of Love – Valentine’s Day of course! A lot of expectations are built up around this Hallmark holiday that for some people, can make or break a relationship! And, even though February 14th isn’t exclusive to lovers with many showing affection for kids, friends and pets, Valentine’s Day will always be linked to romance. So what does love have to do with it anyway?
Ancient history would say those crazy ancient Romans started the tradition with their rowdy holiday Lupercalia. This festival, which played out a few days in mid-February, had young men run naked through the city, tagging young ladies with goat skins purportedly to render them fertile. Ahhh, so romantic!
Another theory is that Emperor Claudius II forbade his soldiers from marrying believing that single men fought better than married men. During this ban of marriages, a priest named St. Valentine performed secret ceremonies until he was found out and condemned to death by decapitation. His sentence was carried out on February 14. On the night before he was to die it is believed that St. Valentine wrote a letter to a young girl and signed it “From your Valentine” leaving a lasting sentiment to this day.
Still another theory states that the day’s association with romance comes from a medieval court poet named Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote a poem referencing the mating and nesting of birds around the time of February 14, hence the term Love Birds.
We may never know whether it was Chaucer’s love birds, St. Valentine losing his head or the naked Romans that fostered February 14 as a day of love but we do know it matters. Though we won’t condemn anyone to death for forgetting the day 53% percent of women said they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something, 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are expected to be exchanged while another 198,000,000 roses are produced just to be given on this occasion. Need more evidence that February 14th is a day of love and romance? How about the 11,000 babies conceived on average on this day!