Tree Frog Forestry News

The dark and mysterious origins of Valentine’s Day

By Ken Haddad
February 14, 2020
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

The origins of the holiday are a bit darker than the hearts and chocolates that mark the day now. …The Catholic Church had at least three different saints named either Valentine or Valentinus, all martyred. …As the legend goes, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than those with wives and families. So, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine felt this was an injustice and continued to perform marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, he ordered Valentine be put to death. …Another darker theory behind the holiday takes us to the ancient Pagan Festival in February, called Lupercalia, involving animal sacrifice to increase fertility. …It wasn’t until Shakespeare romanticize the day that it really took off!

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