How St Valentine, a Roman priest who was martyred on or around February 14 in 270 AD, became the patron saint of lovers remains a mystery. The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast Of Lupercalia – a spring festival – on February 15. Young men randomly chose the name of a girl to escort to the festivities and this may offer the first clue as to the connection with lovers. With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to February 14, the saint day associated with the martyrdom of St Valentine.
Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Chaucer, during the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion on which lovers expressed their love by presenting flowers, offering sweets and sending greeting cards, known as ‘valentines’.
Today, it has become a commercial leviathon, centred around chocolates, flowers and romantic dinners. Should you wish for something a bit less obvious on Valentine’s, however, visit us at talesfromtheearth.com. Happy Valentine’s Day.