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  • Writer's pictureRay Benavidez

Valentines: A Lover’s Day

Valentine’s Day, one of the most romantic holidays to date, is a holiday where couples get together and celebrate their relationships. With so many mixed feelings, good and bad, on the holiday it’s hard to tell what’s the actual story behind this special day. It all began in the 3rd Century, when the Roman Emperor, Claudius the Second, thought single soldiers were better than soldiers with families. For this reason, the emperor banned marriage for younger men. This is where the namesake for Valentine’s Day, Saint Valentine, comes in. Realizing the injustice of the situation, Saint Valentine decided to do his own thing and performed marriages for these young men in secret. Unfortunately, his actions caught up to him as he was beheaded for going against the emperor.

However, this origin isn’t actually the defined origin behind it. Nobody truly knows the actual origin of the holiday. The legend of Saint Valentine is the most popular – most likely because of the Christian backstory. The actual tradition behind giving gifts is a whole other topic to research about, and so is Cupid. It is believed that the idea behind gift giving is a more Western tradition that started in the 18th century.

The story behind Cupid is an interesting one however; it is believed that Cupid comes from the Roman God of Cupid, which is often referred to as the Greek God of Love, Eros. Others argue that Cupid is one of Ero’s sons, in addition to Nyx or Erebus. However, it wasn’t until the Hellenistic Period that Cupid would be pictured as a fat child with a bow arrow. 

Cover photo credits to Marco Verch on Flickr

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