Did you know?: The Unfortunate Real Story Behind Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is known as a day to celebrate love and romance, but the true story has a dark and twisted origin.



The 2022 Valentine’s Day issue of the Dixie Flyer Flash!

Valentine’s Day is known as a day to celebrate love and romance, but the true story has a dark and twisted origin.

Since, the third century A.D., Emperor Claudius II executed two men on February 14. Both of these men happened to have the name Valentine, History.com.

Another way that this holiday came about was a celebration from February 13-15 when Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia.

This celebration consisted of men sacrificing a goat and a dog, they would then whip the women with the hides from the animals that were just slain.

While this is very concerning, it was also voluntary; the women would line up to literally be “hit on.” They believed that this was able to make them fertile, TK source.

Included was a “matchmaking lottery” in which men drew names of women and they would be paired up for the rest of the festivities, or longer if it was working out.

Late in the fifth century, the three-day celebration of Lupercalia was terminated by Pope Gelasius I, and Feb. 14 became the day to celebrate the martyr of St. Valentine instead.

This did not stop the day from being about love and fertility.

As years passed, the holiday became a sweeter and more pleasant holiday.

Much of Shakespeare’s work had romanticized this once brutal holiday.

In the middle ages throughout Britain, handmade cards became very popular.

Hallmark began mass production of Valentine cards in the year 1913, History.com source. The month of romance hasn’t been the same since.

When asked about what they thought Valentine’s Day came from, many Dixie High School students didn’t know.

A Dixie High student said, “I have no idea but it’s kind of a stupid holiday.”

This can be a very common standpoint for people who believe that this holiday has many unnecessary expectations and of course for people who are single.

As time goes on, so does the celebration of the holiday of romance.

Variations of celebrations will continue such as spending too much money to show someone you care, eating ice cream with your favorite movie, or spending time with your friends.

Though, I doubt many people are celebrating this holiday like the early Romans.