A (very) brief history of Valentines Day
The history of Valentine’s Day is somewhat of a mystery but the earliest accounts date back to the Ancient Roman festival, Lupercalia. Far from the lover’s holiday it is today, during this celebration, shepherds sacrificed elderly goats to bring health and fertility to their new livestock.
Some thank Geoffrey Chaucer, the mouthpiece of courtly love, for the creation of February 14th in his famous poem The Parliament of Fowls.
However, the most popular account of the holiday’s origin is certainly more romantic. In 270 AD, a priest named Valentine was executed on 14th February by Emperor Claudius II for performing secret marriage ceremonies on Roman battlefields. During his time in prison he healed the jailer’s blind daughter and on the night before his execution gave her a hand-written letter, signed ‘From your Valentine’.
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