February 3, 2023
The dark origins of Valentine's Day - why we celebrate it anyway!

Valentine’s Day is a day of love and celebration that is celebrated on February 14th around the world. But do you know what the true origin of Valentine’s Day is? While many believe that it is a holiday that celebrates romantic love, the truth is that it has a much darker history. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dark origins of Valentine’s Day and why we still choose to celebrate it today

The holiday’s pagan roots

Valentine’s Day has its origins in the ancient pagan festival of Lupercalia. This festival, which took place on February 15th and was celebrated by the Roman Empire for centuries, was dedicated to the god of fertility, Faunus. During Lupercalia, a goat would be sacrificed and its hide used to whip women in a fertility ritual. It was believed that this ritual would make them more fertile.
The festival also had some interesting traditions when it came to courtship and love. During the festival, young men and women would draw names out of a jar, and they would then be considered a couple for the remainder of the festival. In addition, men and women could gather to watch naked men run through the streets.
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius attempted to Christianize the festival of Lupercalia and declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day. Although Valentine’s Day was now a Christian holiday, it still carried many of the same traditions associated with its pagan roots.

For example, it was still seen as a day of romance, where couples could exchange gifts and love letters. To this day, Valentine’s Day continues to be celebrated as a romantic holiday, despite its dark and pagan origins.

The dark origins of Valentine's Day - why we celebrate it anyway!

The holiday’s Christian roots

Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, who was a Christian martyr. He was executed in the Roman Empire during the third century AD, and since then has been regarded as the patron saint of love and marriage. According to legend, he performed secret weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, and is said to have written the first “valentine” letter.
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day, making it a Christian holiday that has been celebrated for centuries. The Catholic Church believed that celebrating the martyr on this day would help his example of sacrificing for others spread. It was also thought that celebrating his life could create a connection between the pagan festival Lupercalia and Christianity.
Despite its Christian roots, the celebration of Valentine’s Day today is mainly focused on romantic relationships. In modern-day celebrations, couples usually exchange cards, chocolate or flowers to show their love and appreciation for one another. However, some people choose to celebrate the holiday by honoring St. Valentine’s legacy by doing something selfless for someone else, such as giving gifts to people in need or volunteering at a charity. No matter how it is celebrated, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spread love and kindness throughout the world.

How the holiday is celebrated today

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many different ways all over the world. In the United States, people give gifts of flowers, chocolates, and cards to their loved ones on this special day. Restaurants often offer special menus for couples, or have romantic settings to share a romantic dinner. Couples often exchange gifts or enjoy a night out together.
The holiday is also celebrated in many other countries. In the United Kingdom, it is traditional for people to send anonymous cards known as “Valentines”. In France, people exchange beautiful bouquets of red roses and give each other chocolate kisses. In some parts of Asia, people celebrate by exchanging Valentine’s Day dolls.
For many single people, Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of loneliness and unrequited love. It is important to remember that this day is also about showing appreciation to those we care about, no matter what relationship status they are. Whether we’re single or taken, we can find ways to celebrate and make Valentine’s Day special for ourselves and those around us.

The dark origins of Valentine's Day - why we celebrate it anyway!

What the holiday means to different people

Valentine’s Day holds a different meaning to different people. For some, it’s an opportunity to show their appreciation for those they love and care about. For others, it’s a reminder of their own loneliness and the lack of a significant other in their life. For still others, it’s just a day for fun and merriment with friends and family.
For couples, Valentine’s Day is typically spent expressing their love and appreciation for one another, often through gifts, gestures, and special outings. Many couples take the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy a romantic evening out.
Singles often use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to make themselves feel better about not having a partner. They may choose to gather with friends for dinner or drinks and commiserate about their singleness. Or, they might treat themselves to something special, such as a spa day or a shopping spree.
The meaning of Valentine’s Day also varies among religious groups. Some faiths embrace the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate love and compassion. Other faiths view Valentine’s Day as a secular holiday that should be avoided due to its pagan origins.
No matter the interpretation, Valentine’s Day remains a popular holiday around the world. Despite its dark origins, the day has been embraced by many cultures as an occasion to share love and kindness with one another.


Valentine’s Day is a complex holiday with deep roots in both pagan and Christian traditions. Despite its dark origins, Valentine’s Day is now widely celebrated around the world as a day of romance and love. How each person celebrates Valentine’s Day may differ, but at its core it is still a day to express appreciation and love for those closest to us. Even if the traditional gifts of roses, chocolates, and cards don’t interest you, there are many different ways to celebrate this special day. So however you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make sure to show your loved ones how much you care!


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