What is the origin of Valentine's Day and why is it celebrated on Feb. 14?

This is everything we know about the birth of Valentine's Day

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Do you have plans with friends? Are you going to surprise your significant other with a romantic date?

Every 14th of February, Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated.

Many consider this date to be a special day to strengthen the bonds between couples or friends, but do you know why it started?

Here we explain some things you probably didn't know about Valentine's Day.

A mystery that dates back to ancient Rome

According to National Geographic, it turns out that the origin of this holiday "isn't very clear."

Regardless, the magazine indicates that its history dates back centuries in which various historians place the festivities in ancient Rome.

"Some historians place the origin of the Feast of Saint Valentine in ancient Rome, in a pagan festival called Lupercalia, which is celebrated on the 15th of February," the magazine stated.

That is to say, according to National Geographic, the celebration of Lupercalia derives from lupus, the Latin word for "wolf," which represents the god Faunus who took the name of Luperco and Hircus which signified "an impure animal."

During its history, the magagzine informs that the priests gathered in a sacred cave with the purpose of making a sacrifice: the sacrifice of a goat. As part of the ritual, males would hit women with the skin of the animals to "incentivize" their fertility.

In addition, National Geographic says there is another theory that exists in which male participants of the Lupercalia would choose a woman’s name from a box to have a temporary sexual union, a union that was discarded if it became enduring. This way, couples could be selected during the Roman festival called Juno Februata.

Americans are expected to buy 58 million pounds of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, according to Candystore.com.

Another theory: A priest called Valentine

When the Christian religion began to expand, Emperor Claudius II Gothicus governed and declared a law prohibiting couples to marry so that young men could enlist in the military.

A priest named Valentine did not agree with the law and began to marry couples in secret.

Valentine was discovered and as a consequence, was arrested and confined in a dungeon. A prison guard challenged him to return sight to his daughter Julia who was born blind. The priest accepted and in "the name of the Lord" her sight was restored, resulting in the guard and his entire family converting to Christianity, according to History.com.

"The young priest Valentine, confined in a cell, performed the miracle of returning sight to Julia, the daughter of his jailer. Despite this he was condemned to death," it stated.

Nevertheless, they add that the priest continued to be incarcerated until the 14th of February of the year 269 and was tortured and decapitated, but not before sending a letter to Julia, who he was in love with, according to the legend.

Centuries later it's said that he was elevated to the altars which drove Pope Gelasio I in the year 494 to declare the 14th of February, on the day of his torture, the official day of Saint Valentine.

Con la llegada del Día de San Valentín dentro de pocos días, el sitio web de WalletHub realizó un estudio para determinar cuales estados dentro de los Estados Unidos son los mejores y peores para las personas solteras.

Although there is no certain history for the holiday, many stories and theories exist about how Valentine's Day arose.

In the end, the significance of Valentine's Day is different for everyone. Many see it as a celebration of love and friendship, while others view it as a way to implement consumerism and boost the economy.

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