We have to admit that we thought Valentine’s Day was a fairly modern invention, maybe started by Hallmark to sell greetings cards along with red roses and teddy bears.
It was interesting to look into the history behind this day and discover that it has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February.
The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of men and women by lottery!!!
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.
Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s commercially printed cards were being used. Oh-so we did get around to Hallmark!
In the Philippines now, it is the most common wedding anniversary, and mass weddings of hundreds of couples are not uncommon on the 14th.