Valentine’s Day history and legends

Francesca Divincenzo, Staff writer

Valentine’s Day has always been a special day to celebrate love. However, many do not know how the day came to be.

One myth about Valentine’s Day is that the greeting card company invented the holiday, but that is not true.

The common origin story is of Saint Valentine. It is said that he was around during the third century and Emperor Claudius II’s reign. Emperor Claudius believed that men belonged in the army and not home with their families. To keep men away from home, he established a law stating that young men could not marry.

The plan did not prevail. Saint Valentine would marry couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out, he sent Valentine to prison and planned to have him beheaded.

Legend has it that Valentine was fascinated with the jailer’s daughter, who went to see him from time to time. The tale also says that Valentine would leave the girl cards signed “Your Valentine.”

There are many Valentine’s Day traditions among different nations. According to Huff Post in Brazil, Brazilians skip the Feb. 14 celebration and instead celebrate Dia dos Namorados, or “Lovers’ Day,” on June 12.

In England, the night before Valentine’s Day, women place five bay leaves on their pillows to imagine dreams of their future spouses.

On Feb. 14 in Denmark, men give women a joking letter that is entirely anonymous. If the woman guesses who the letter came from, she gets an Easter egg later that year.

In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is a little different. On Feb. 14, the gift giving begins with the women giving the men the gifts. One month later on March 14, also known as “White Day,” the man showers the woman with gifts.

There is a holiday known as “Black day” where singles mourn their status by eating black bean paste noodles.

Even though COVID-19 has put a damper on peoples’ lives, that does not stop them from celebrating Valentine’s Day.

According to Select, having a stay-at-home paint night can be very romantic where you or your partner picks up a paint kit and follows a video tutorial at your own pace.

You can also sit down and watch a movie together, snuggling up to each other and being in the moment.

Another idea is getting into your comfy clothes with your partner and having a night of playing board games.

Remember, Valentine’s Day is not all about gifts and fancy dinners. It is about sharing moments with your sweetheart and loved ones.

It is also essential to know that Valentine’s Day is not only about couples; self-love is a crucial kind of love. Loving yourself is extremely important, especially on a day when the universe seems to remind you that you are alone.

No matter who you are, you can celebrate on Feb. 14.The Merciad wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!