Every country celebrates special days differently. In France, where I spent most of my childhood, you only give a Valentine card to your sweetheart, or to someone that you wish would become your sweetheart. I also spent 5 years in Thailand where the tradition is about the same. I was surprised when in America and saw that in schools for example, everybody gave Valentine cards to everybody, even their parents and teachers. To purposely not give one to someone can represent an act of dislike. But where does this Valentine’s Day tradition come from?
History presents many stories, one dating back to a pagan festival during the time of the Roman Empire. However, the most common origin for the celebration of Valentine’s Day dates back to the 3rd century A.D. At that time, Emperor Claudius the 2nd forbade his soldiers to marry, a decision which caused low morale in his army. Valentine was a Catholic priest who performed non-government censured weddings for soldiers and other Christians. He ended losing his life for challenging the Emperor’s decree but while in jail he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter.
It is strange that this Catholic priest who himself made a vow of celibacy put so much importance on marriage. I guess, while he couldn’t profit from it himself he still must have considered it an important divinely ordained institution. After all, he lost his life for that belief. It is said that on February 14th, the day of his execution, he gave the jailer’s daughter a note signed, “Your Valentine.”
THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY:
VALENTINES TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD.
Patrick G. Lumbroso
Estacada Rural Fire District No. 69
Station Phone: 503.630.7712
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