Events Calendar
Feb 14
All day
St. Valentine's Day

This is a Christian celebration

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus.

Several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies including a popular account of Saint Valentine of Rome which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius,and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards. In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy. Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church.

Location

United Kingdom

Details

Contact: Becky Lamyman
E: rsl7@kent.ac.uk
Categories: Other, Religious festivals

 

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Last Updated: 10/01/2012