Valentines Day - The history behind the romantic day - Málaga Food News | The Málaga Food Guide - The Leading Food & Lifestyle Guide to Málaga Province

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Sunday, 14 February 2021

Valentines Day - The history behind the romantic day

Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. In many countries around the world, chocolates, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from?

The legend of St. Valentine.

The catholic church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the first century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius ll decided that single men made better soldiers than those with families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake. He too, was beheaded by Claudius ll outside Rome.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisions, were they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first ‘’valentine’’ greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl-possibly his jailor’s daughter-who visited him during his confinement. Although the truth behind the legend is murky, the stories all emphasise his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly romantic figure. He's one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial-which probably occurred around A.D.270- others claim that the Christian Church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘’Christianize’’ the pagan celebration of LUPERCALIA, a fertility festival dedicated to Fanus, the roman god of agriculture.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine’s day at the end of the 5 century, but not until later did it become definitively associated with love.

The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules’’.

So, now we know the history behind "Valentines Day" we wish you all a Happy Valentines Day from the Malaga Food Guide and hope you enjoy your day.

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