Love is in the Air

Love is everywhere during the week of Valentine's Day.

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A freshman takes a picture with this Valentine-related filter. (Photo Courtesy of Anicka Seng)

Megan Jun, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is a heartfelt day to celebrate love, go on dates, and “hang out”. For others, it’s a day that gives them hope that they might find the person they love. Either way, it is a day that, to your surprise, does not directly come from Saint Valentine. Originally, February 14, the day of Valentine’s day, marked a holiday called Lupercalia in Ancient Rome. It was a day to celebrate fertility and use a jar full of names to pair up men with women. In Ancient Greece, it was a day to celebrate the marriage of the Greek gods Hera and Zeus. It was several years after these holidays that the name “Valentine” came and influenced the holiday’s name. In 500 AD, Pope Gelasius added Saint Valentine’s Day to the liturgical calendar. It was a day to feast and commemorate martyred saints with the name of Valentine.
No one knows much about the history of Saint Valentine, the person who Valentine’s Day was named after. There are many legends about him. One particular legend is the reason why Valentine’s Day was named after him; Saint Valentine was supposedly a priest that helped soldiers get married. Soldiers weren’t allowed to marry because the Roman emperor thought that married soldiers did not make successful ones. Saint Valentine wore a ring with Cupid and gave out paper hearts to remind the people of God’s love. Because of this legend, St. Valentine became known as the patron saint of love.
Although the story of St. Valentine set the base of this holiday’s meaning, it was not until a medieval author named Geoffrey Chaucer wrote poems in 138. They connected Saint Valentine with love, and the modern meaning of Valentine’s Day came to be. Now, Valentine’s Day is a holiday for heart-shaped chocolates, snuggles, and love letters. Valentine’s Day will always be a remembrance of love.