The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

A special kind of love: the history of Valentine’s Day 

Jameson Johnson and Canva
The world views Valentine’s Day as a day filled with love and celebration for partners in their lives. The love story of St. Valentine and the start of the Christian Feast stays hidden behind the joyful moments of the love fest as Valentine’s Day appears on the calendar, understanding how the day surrounds love helps to understand the day’s significance.

 February 14, people all over the US and throughout the world experience a day of love and appreciation with their partner or loved ones. Individuals exchange their share of gifts, candy and flowers while love accumulates in fancy restaurant dinners. Although the day frequently crosses lovers’ minds, the majority of people do not know the origin of Cupid’s bow. 

“I’ve heard [Valentine’s Day] originated as a Christian feast day, but now we just use it to show love to the people we love. Me and my family usually make cards for my mom and when I was little we went out to a nice restaurant. I think Valentine’s Day is really cute and gives a chance for everyone to feel loved,” sophomore Breayln Engles said. 

The story of St. Valentine 

The Romans believed married soldiers would struggle with their distractions, not feeling able to compete without love interests in mind. Saint Valentine, who resided in the Roman Empire, allegedly disagreed with this rule and started constructing marriages in secret. Young soldiers in love would come to him with their future companions, and he would happily grant them a life together filled with love. 

Not long after this idea rose in popularity, St. Valentine failed to hide his secret from Roman authorities and he received a death sentence. Although his sentence was meant to cause pain, he ended up falling hopelessly in love with the jailer’s daughter, Julia, while awaiting his execution. Before his death date, February 14, he wrote one last love letter to Julia and signed it “Your Valentine,” creating the saying society knows today.

Christian Feast

Others believe Valentine’s Day originated from Christians holding a pagan festival in February, which included a ritual for fertility, dedicated to the God of Agriculture; Demeter. Priests sacrificed animals such as goats and took the pieces and dipped them in blood. Then, they walked around town gently slapping women and crops with the goat remains. Later in the day, women would put their names in a massive urn and men would pick names, revealing their future spouse. This frequently ended in a life-long marriage between the two. 

This ritual continued for years after the Roman Empire legalized Christianity, but when Pope Gelasius came to terms, he outlawed the celebration. In return, Christians declared the 14th of February as the day of feasting in an attempt to replace the sacred ritual. 

The love behind the 14th  

The love surrounding Valentine’s Day flourished during the Middle Ages, as birds typically searched for a mate on February 14 or 15. The implication of love birds and doves remains as a symbol of trust and love and it stems from the English and French listening to the sweet sounds of birds chirping with one another. 

The purpose of Valentine’s Day as the world perceives it, includes catering to a partner or someone close whether in a relationship or not. Couples typically purchase gifts and chocolate or head out for fancy dinner reservations on a special day. While people do not understand how love and the holiday correlate, the special day reveals deeper meaning behind the heart-shaped chocolate boxes.

“I love Valentine’s Day, I have plans to go out with my boyfriend and then some friends after. I think Valentine’s Day can be a day to spend with people you love whether that’s your friends or a significant other. I love having the ability to buy gifts for my girlfriends and my boyfriend if I have one at the time,” junior Amy Futo said


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