Worldwide on February 14, many flowers, cards and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, as Saint Valentine's day is celebrated.
However, the story of why we celebrate today is a bit of a mystery.
The tradition of St. Valentine's Day mix elements of both rites of ancient Roman and Christian traditions. Just to confuse more importantly, three different saints called Valentine recognized by the Catholic Church.
One legend is that Valentine was a priest in Rome in the third century. Emperor Claudius II decided that the marriage should be banned for the young man, because he thought that single men made better soldiers than those who are married with families.
Valentine, felt the decision was unfair and unjust, and challenged the Emperor to perform secret marriages for young lovers. When actions for lovers posing discovered, Claudius ordered Valentine executed. Variations on this legend says that Valentine was killed for trying to help fellow Christians escape harsh Roman prison where they were routinely tortured.
According to another legend, Valentine may have actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself in AD 270 the day before he was to be executed for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. Allegedly he sent a note of appreciation to the blind daughter of his jailer to bring him food and delivering messages while he was imprisoned, signed "from your Valentine.
While we can never be sure of the exact origin of the legend of St Valentine, one thing is for sure, it would have been an interesting story and enduring as in the Middle Ages, Valentine has become one of the most popular saints in France and England.
Holy day observance his time may have been driven by the practice of public places to try to integrate the previously pagan festival in the Christian calendar. in this case, the Lupercalia festival.
In ancient Rome, February was seen because the beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. The houses are ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and wheat throughout the interior (we still refer to the Spring Cleaning to this day).
Lupercalia, which began in the 'IDE (15) February', is a fertility festival dedicated to the god of agriculture Lupercus and Goddess of Love, Juno, as well as the founders of Rome
Romulus and Remus. Roman girls put their names into an urn was set up in public squares and young single men draw from it to get a 'blind date' for the coming year. More often than not, this annual game often ended in marriage.
St. Valentine's Day is set at 14 Feb by Pope Gelasius, about 500 AD. At this time, 'lottery' system for romantic date deemed un-Christian and has been banned. During the Middle Ages, the practice of love lotteries conducted as a 'chance box'. In France, the image of the box allocated for married couples a year or part of a business. In the UK, it is common practice for men to wear a girl's name they took from the box a chance on their sleeves, surrounded by hearts.
In Japan, it is customary for women only to give candy to people in their lives, the quality of chocolate showing their true feelings, according to Fortune. On March 14, exactly a month later, people return the favor by celebrating the increasingly popular "White Day." Checkout Guy’s Valentine’s Day.