Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special valentine. The day of romance we call Valentines Day is named after a Christian Martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has its origins in the Roman holiday, Lupercalia.
Valentine’s Day has been no different at Strathmore Business School. Corridors spot some red apparel as personnel move around receiving brightly boxed roses while the gift shop is abuzz with clients shopping for their loved ones.
In the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, held on February 15, the holiday honored the gods Lupercus and Faunus, as well as the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. In addition to a bountiful feast, Lupercalia festivities are purported to have included the pairing of young women and men. Men would draw women’s names from a box, and each couple would be paired until next year’s celebration.
While this pairing of couples set the tone for today’s holiday, it wasn’t called “Valentine’s Day” until a priest named Valentine came along. Valentine, a romantic at heart, disobeyed Emperor Claudius II’s decree that soldiers remain bachelors. Claudius handed down this decree believing that soldiers would be distracted and unable to concentrate on fighting if they were married or engaged. Valentine defied the emperor and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. As a result of his defiance, Valentine was put to death on February 14. After Valentine’s death, he was named a saint. As Christianity spread through Rome, the priests moved Lupercalia from February 15 to February 14 and renamed it St. Valentine’s Day in honor of Saint Valentine.
Valentines Day can sometimes seem like a chore rather than an awesome holiday. However, you can get through it by choosing to make it fun and not take it too seriously. Also, remember that staying thankful always helps you be happier and enjoy the day more.