How did Valentine’s day start?

2016-02-10 06:00
 Photos: supplied

Photos: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THERE are two main traditions, which are said to have started the celebration of 14 February.

Roman Feast of Lupercalia.
This ancient pagan fertility celebration, which honoured Juno, goddess of women and marriage, was held on February 14. Women would write love letters and leave them in a large urn. The men of Rome would then draw a note from the urn and ardently pursue the woman who wrote the message they had chosen. Apparently, this
tradition lasted all the way to the 18th century.
Birds and the Bees explanation.
In the Middle Ages, Europeans believed that birds began to mate on February 14 and so people began to send love letters to each other on Valentine’s Day. Believe it? Or not.
Who was St Valentine’s?

There were a whole lot of St Valentines. The Catholic Church recognises at least three, all of whom were supposed to be martyred on February 14 (which seems a little suspicious).
The most popular candidate for St Valentine was a third-century Roman priest who practised Christianity and performed secret marriages against direct orders from
Emperor Claudius II, who believed single soldiers were more likely to join his army.

Legend has it that Valentine fell for the jailer’s daughter and sent her a note signed “From Your Valentine” before he was executed on February 14 in 270 AD. Whatever the original bits and pieces, the blend of Roman festival and Christian martyrdom has caught on, and Valentine’s Day is here to stay.
Traditional Valentine’s symbols

• Red roses
were said to be the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Also, red is a colour that signifies strong feelings.

• Lace has long been used to make women’s handkerchiefs. Hundreds of years ago, if a woman dropped her handkerchief, a man might pick it up for her. Sometimes, if she had her eye on the right man, a woman might intentionally drop her handkerchief to encourage him. So, people began to think of romance when they thought of lace.

• Lovebirds, colourful birds found in Africa, are so named because they sit closely together in pairs - like sweethearts do. Doves are symbols of loyalty and love, because they mate for life and share the care of their babies.
• Sealed with an ‘X’.
Do you know how an X started representing a kiss? This tradition started with the Medieval practice of allowing those who could not write to sign documents with an “X”.

This was done before witnesses, and the signer placed a kiss upon the “X” to show sincerity.

— Women24.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.