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Why do we celebrate St. Valentine's Day?

Why do we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day?

Commemorations of St. Valentine’s Day are rooted in the distant past. In the Middle Ages the tradition of choosing a romantic partner on that particular saint’s day began because it was believed that birds began mating on that day. Yet there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the historical Saint Valentine, an early Christian martyred by the Romans, had any connections to either birds or romance.

In the 1800s stories abounded that the roots of St. Valentine’s Day reached back to Rome and the festival of Lupercalia on the 15th of February, but modern scholars discount that idea.

Despite the holiday’s mysterious and puzzling roots, it is obvious that people have observed St. Valentine’s Day for centuries. The famed London diarist Samuel Pepys mentioned observances of the day in the mid-1600s, complete with elaborate gift giving among the wealthier members of society.

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