Monday, February 16, 2009

The History of Valentine's Day

So, I don't know about anyone else, but I have always been pretty clueless about the history of Valentine's Day. That is, until Friday when I taught my little kids at class. I found the whole story very interesting. It also helped me have a whole new appreciation for the holiday. I have always been one of those "the card makers made up this holiday" kinda person. Now, I still believe that Valentine's Day (like almost every holiday in America) has been extremely commercialized. But, I don't think I should throw the baby out with the bath water. So, "what is the story?", you ask. I'll tell you the short version:
There was a priest named Valentine who lived in ancient Rome. The Emperor decided that he needed more soldiers for his army so he passed a law that no one was allowed to get married anymore. Valentine secretly married couples and was caught. On Feb. 14th, he was beheaded for breaking the law. The Catholic church proclaimed this a holiday in 498 A.D. (about 200 years after Valentine's death)
So, what we are really honoring is the right we have to marry "under God". This gives me a good perspective about something I often take for granted. I live in a country and culture where I have the right to marry freely. I am not arranged to marry anyone and I did not disgrace my family by being born a girl. How often am I truly thankful for that?

As far as our Valentine festivities go, we had a great day! I will be posting pictures and what not tomorrow (if I can get all those pictures :)

1 comment:

nate and liz said...

I was thinking/ wondering about the history on Valentine's day... thanks for the summary! ~liz