The Origins of Valentine’s Day


Katie Ozley, Editor

Valentine’s Day is a time we all look forward to. It comes with pink and red and hearts and candy. It is a celebration of friendships and of significant others. Those relationships are especially important to value and celebrate, especially when you get to celebrate with people face-to-face. We all know what Valentine’s Day means to us, but do you know where it came from?


Valentine’s day is said to have had its origins in the Roman festival of fertility, Lupercalia. The two holidays are very similar, and it is rumored that when Pope Gelasius I outlawed the celebration of Lupercalia he replaced it with Valentine’s Day. There were many martyrs named Valentine, and it is unclear who the day is named after. My favorite story, and the one I think is the most romantic, is of a man named Valentine. He was jailed and awaiting execution when he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. He wrote her a letter and signed it, “from your Valentine”. There are many other interpretations and much of the origin story is open for debate.


It wasn’t until the 1500s that actual, formal Valentine’s letters were sent. Cards were being produced commercially by the 1700s. The holiday has continued to grow in popularity, and has expanded to be a celebration of friendship as well as romantic love. However, we are still giving the same traditional gifts, like candy and flowers. All of us at MHS Spotlight hope you have a very happy Valentine’s Day.