Valentine’s Day occurs every year on Februry,14th. Across the United states, Canada, Mexico and other countries, this day is filled with flowers, chocolate and little presents in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious Saint Valentine and from where comes this sweet tradition of celebrating love? 

One legend describes a priest named Valentine who lived during the third century in Rome. The Roman Emperor Claudius II was building up a military at that time and supposedly thought that married men dedicate too much time to the family, while single served better for the military. To build a stronger army, the emperor outlawed marriage for young men. Feeling that this sweetheart ban was unjust, priest Valentine apparently performed secret marriage ceremonies.  When Claudius II found out, the love priest was put to death. His feast day was set as February 14th by the Church to honor his heroic life.

There is also the less violent fable. Another man named Valentine was imprisoned by the Romans. One day he sent a letter to a woman he loved with the signature, “From your Valentine.” As history has it, a prison letter would ultimately spark the ideas for both valentine cards and the concept of valentine admirers. 

Another story says that having a particular Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February – officially the start of their springtime. The feast involved a pagan ritual of naked men whipping women with the blood-soaked hides of sacrificial animals, which they believed promoted fertility. This day men selected women’s names at random to decide who would remain together the rest of the festival, or, if the match was successful, for life.

However, English professor from a University of Kansas, Jack B. Oruch had a different theory. He determined that the poet Geoffrey Chaucer linked love with St. Valentine for the first time in his 14th-century works “The Parlement of Foules” and “The Complaint of Mars.” Therefore, Oruch claimed that Chaucer invented Valentine’s Day as we know it today. Soon, people began sending Love letters to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and by the early 1910s, an American company that would one day become Hallmark began distributing its more official “Valentine’s Day cards.” 

As we can see Valentine’s day has its own history and mystery around. Over the years and centuries, Valentine’s Day has been a religious celebration, an ancient ritual day, and a commercial holiday. Nowadays, it’s a popular day not only among couples but also singles celebrate it! 

Valentine’s Day is truly whatever you want it to be: it’s your choice whether to skip the celebrations completely, or buy yourself some chocolate or flowers, or express your love and appreciation for the people in your life, whether they’re co-workers, romantic partners, friends, or family members. Some people love Valentine’s Day, and some people just love to hate it.

If you’re trying to figure out what to do on Valentine’s Day, just know that there are no rules: It’s a new era, and you can celebrate the day of love however you want, even if it’s just through self-love. 

For those in love, Valentine’s Day is a time to reflect on your relationship and remember all the reasons why you love each other.However, if you find yourself alone on February 14th, you probably view the holiday a bit differently. But just because you don’t have someone special to share it with, doesn’t mean that the day itself can’t be special. Hosting a Valentine’s Day party for friends and family are also great ways to celebrate!