Historians trace the origins of Valentine's Day to the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia, which was celebrated each year between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15. During the feast, men sacrificed a dog and a goat and then used the skins to strike women who believed the whippings would make them fertile. As time went on, Christian leaders superimposed a celebration of the martyred St. Valentine on the feast.Continue Reading
The feast of Lupercalia also featured a tradition in which names were drawn and young men and young women paired off for the duration of the celebration. If they took to one another, they would marry soon after the feast was over.
Meanwhile, in the third century, St. Valentine ignored Roman Emperor Claudius II's ban on marriage for young men in his army. The saint presided over their marriages anyway, an act of defiance for which he was executed. However, the Catholic Church later honored him with his own holiday.
In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I combined St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia in hopes of quashing the pagan rituals and drawing more attention to the Church. Despite the pope's intentions, the day continued to be celebrated with romantic love in mind. William Shakespeare further romanticized Valentine's Day in "Hamlet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," causing it to gain traction throughout Europe.
In the Middle Ages, the exchange of cards between lovers became a tradition. This practice made its way to the New World, where factory-made cards eventually took the celebration of Valentine's Day to a mass-marketing level.Learn more about Valentines Day
Being someone's Valentine involves spoiling the person with romantic gestures for the day and being on the receiving end of the person's romantic gestures in return. Some Valentines are in romantic relationships, although it is possible for two people to be Valentines without officially dating one another.Full Answer >
A sample greeting to write in a Valentine's Day card could include the following: "Happy Valentine's Day to my soulmate and the love of my life. You bring me joy, peace and comfort every day." It is important to communicate the depth of one's feelings in a Valentine's Day card so that the person receiving the card can sense the full extent of the sender's passion.Full Answer >
A funny Valentine's Day poems is titled "He Sent His Love a Valentine" and reads, "He sent his love a Valentine; / His love did not reply. / We never dare to care to sign / These things, I wonder why." "Hindsight," "The Kangaroo's Courtship," "Veggie Valentine," "Since My Valentine Got a Computer" and "An Angry Valentine" are more examples of funny Valentine's Day poems. These poems are available on the Brownielocks and Poem Source websites.Full Answer >
Quiz Rocket and Trivia Park have Valentine's Day trivia quizzes on their websites, as of 2015. The questions typically deal with the history of the celebration. Brownielocks and Examiner.com have trivia questions on common Valentine's Day symbols, such as flowers, candies and couples.Full Answer >