Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Valentine’s Day? It’s a day of love and romance, but what’s the backstory?

As it turns out, the real story behind Valentine’s Day is anything but romantic. In fact, it’s quite dark.

So, if you want to know how this holiday that celebrates love came to be, read on.

Valentine's Day has been around for centuries, and contrary to popular belief, Valentine's Day wasn't invented by greeting card companies in a desperate attempt to get people to spend more money on presents.

There are several theories as to why and how Valentine's Day came to be - none of which involve love and romance.

Let’s take a look at the not-so-romantic history of this holiday.

Theory 1: Ancient Roman Fertility Festival

The origin of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to Ancient Rome.

Valentine's Day may have originated with an ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia that was held in mid-February. According to some historians, the festival celebrated Juno Februata, the goddess of "feverish" (that is, passionate) love.

During the Roman festival of Lupercalia, young men would draw names from a jar and then pair up with the women whose names they had drawn for the duration of the festival. They would sacrifice a goat and a dog - both symbols of fertility - then whip the woman with the hides of those animals to promote fertility and ease childbirth.

While this origin story is certainly colorful, it does leave out one key element: where did all that love come from?

Theory 2: Christian Martyrdom

Some historians believe that St. Valentine was a real person who was executed by Emperor Claudius II in 270 AD because of his Christian faith.

Claudius II believed single men made better soldiers than married ones and thus banned marriage for those serving in his army. St. Valentine was a priest who disagreed with this law and continued to perform weddings in secret until he was discovered by emperor Claudius II and was arrested for his defiance.

While in jail awaiting his execution, legend has it that St. Valentine fell in love with his jailer's daughter and sent her a letter signed “from your valentine" - hence where we get the expression “valentine” from today!

Unfortunately, Saint Valentine was executed on February 14th - the date which is now associated with romance and love all over the world due to its connection with him.

This theory seems far more plausible than the ancient Roman festival story - but there’s still something missing… like what does writing letters have to do with celebrating love?

Theory 3: A Mix of Everything!

So, what’s really going on here?

Well, it turns out that all three theories could be true!

It’s possible that over time religious celebrations like St. Valentines' martyrdom blended with pagan traditions like Lupercalia until they eventually merged into one big holiday celebration.

And as more time passed and Christianity spread throughout Europe, so too did stories about Saint Valentine's life - and people began celebrating February 14th as “Valentine's Day".

Over time this holiday has become more focused on expressing love between partners through gifts like cards or flowers - but at its core is still based on honoring Saint Valentine's courage and romance despite facing death for his beliefs!

Whatever its origins may be though one thing is certain; we can all agree that no matter how you slice it - the story behind this holiday is anything but ordinary!

So, there you have it - the not-so-romantic story behind why we celebrate Valentine's Day every year on February 14th!

From ancient Roman festivals and Christian martyrdom to chocolates and greeting cards - it looks like there’s much more going on than meets the eye when it comes to celebrating Valentine's Day each year!

It may not be as glamorous as some would think, but it is fascinating nonetheless!

Celebrating Valentine's Day is a great way to honor St Valentine's bravery while also expressing our own feelings towards those close to us - so take advantage of this special day when you can!

At least now you know why we celebrate it every year!

Whether you choose to celebrate or not though doesn't really matter; just remember - whatever your reasons for marking this day - love should always come first!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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