When did it all start?
There are various theories on the origin of Valentine's Day, but the
most popular dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign
of Claudius II, 270 A.D. Claudius didn't want men to marry during
wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop
Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding
ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of
the Emperor on Feb. 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the
jailor's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine." Sound familiar?
More Valentine's Day-related history
- The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia on Feb. 14 in
honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also
the goddess of women and marriage.
- Many believe the X symbol became synonymous with the kiss in
medieval times. People who couldn't write their names signed in front of
a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.
- Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine's Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to
see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto
their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of
the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve."
- In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.
on Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM