Who was St Valentine and How did Valentine's Day start?
Who was St Valentine?
The day gets its name from a famous saint. The popular belief about St Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD.
Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret.
When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
There, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed "from your Valentine".
How did Valentine's Day start?
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.
It's thought that as part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box. They'd be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they'd get married.
Later on, the Church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian celebration and decided to use it to remember St Valentine too.
Gradually, St Valentine's name started to be used by people to express their feelings to those they loved.
If you would like to continue celebrating it, you can visit our St. Valentine's section for some eco-ideas for your Valentine or yourself!
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