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The History of the Day of Love

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By CATHERINE K.

Whether you’ve taken the day to get cozy with your boo or taken advantage of discounted chocolate the following day, (almost) everyone can take advantage of Valentine’s Day.

History.com reports that Valentine’s Day was originally a Pagan celebration of fertility in ancient Rome. This celebration occuring  during mid February was called “Luperci” or “Lupercalia.” Roman Priests would sacrifice a goat and dip the hide into the “sacrificial blood.” They would then go into town and slather the sacrificial blood on the crops and the shoulders of single women. The women would then put their names in an urn for available bachelors to pick from, much like a hat draw. This would normally end in marriage.

Lupercalia was outlawed by the end of the fifth century for being “unchristian.”Pope Gelasius abolished Luperci and replaced the pagan holiday as ‘St. Valentines Day’. A day to honor Saint Valentine who had just recently been associated with romance and love by a poet named Chaucer.

The Catholic Church recognises three different martyred saints named Valentine or Valentinus. Some believe Saint Valentine was a priest who married couples in secret after Claudius II outlawed marriage; declaring that single men make better soldiers.  Once Claudius discovered that Valentine had defied his orders he was put to death, according to History.com.

Though the the history of Valentine’s Day is relatively unknown, what is known is the significance the holiday has on our culture today.

Junior Alexis Facer feels that celebrating Valentine’s Day is pointless.

“You should celebrate your love every day,” she said.

However, junior Skylar Ridenour appreciates the “cheesiness” of the holiday and “all the candy.”

From a day where everyone can appreciate those they love, to the huge consumerist market behind it, Valentine’s Day is undoubtedly a celebration that will be forever ingrained into Western traditions.

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