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Valentine’s Day 2020 on social media


Bishop in love – where Valentine’s Day came from

Valentine’s Day 2020 on social media
Valentine’s Day, a holiday of lovers celebrated on February 14, is wrongly placed in a row with Halloween as another exported product of Anglo-Saxon culture. It turns out that mentioned on that day in the liturgical calendar of St. Valentine, whose name the holy name comes from, was proclaimed the patron of those in love already in 1496 by Pope Alexander VI.

Pagan beginnings

However, the origins of today’s Valentine’s Day need not be sought in Christianity, but in pagan Rome. Nature itself decided about their date. In mid-February, for birds nesting in the Eternal City began love courtship and joined in pairs. This was considered a symbolic awakening of nature, heralding the imminent arrival of spring. For this reason, the Romans set a date for celebrating luperkalia – a festival in honor of the fertility god Faunus Lupercus – on February 15. On the eve of the celebrations, a love lottery took place: the names of the girls were written on scraps of paper, after which the boys drew them. In this way, the girls became their partners during luperkalia.

Valentine’s Day 2020 on social media

One or two Valentine’s?

During the reign of Emperor Claudius Gothic, Rome was embroiled in bloody and unpopular wars to such an extent that men did not want to join the army. The emperor decided that the reason for such behavior was their reluctance to leave their fiancés and wives. Therefore, he canceled all planned engagements and weddings. Priest Walenty helped couples who got married secretly. However, he was caught and sentenced to death. He was beaten until he died, then his head was cut off. It was February 14, 269 or 270, the day the love lotteries were held.

Before that, in prison, Walenty made friends with the guard’s daughter, who visited and raised him. To repay, he left her a farewell leaf in the form of a heart, on which he wrote: “From your Valentine”. A basilica was built over the grave of the martyr at Via Flaminia, but Pope Paschalis I (817-24) transferred the remains of the martyr to the church of St. Praxedis. Over time, the figure of priest Valentine mixed with another holy martyr bearing the same name. Some researchers even say it’s really about the same person. In 197 he became the bishop of the city of Terni in Umbria. He was known for being the first to bless the pagan and Christian marriage. He also sent letters to his faithful about love for Christ. He died in Rome in 273, because he did not want to stop converting pagans. Today he is better known and it is to his grave in the cathedral in Terni that pilgrims draw. The silver reliquary covering his remains has the inscription: “Saint Valentine, patron of love.”

Sometimes it is also said about Saint. Valentine as the patron of epileptics. In fact, however, it is a third saint bearing this name. He lived in the Recession in the fifth century (on today’s German-Austrian-Swiss border) and was credited with healing the disease.


you will be my valentine …

St. Patrick’s Day Valentine became a real holiday of lovers only in the Middle Ages, when they were passionate about the lives of saints and crowds of pilgrims to their graves to celebrate their relics. So we also remembered the history of St. Valentine. The holiday was most widespread in England and France. Still, as in ancient Rome, names were drawn, although now also girls pulled out the names of the boys. The youth then carried randomly drawn cards pinned to a sleeve for a week.

On February 14, the girls tried to guess who they would marry. To find out, they looked for birds. If the girl saw the robin first, it meant she would marry a sailor; if the sparrow was too poor, but she could be sure that her marriage would be happy; if psoriasis – that a rich man would ask for her hand. In Wales that day, wooden spoons with hearts, keys and keyholes carved on them were offered. The gift replaced the words: “Open my heart”.


From the sixteenth century on St. Valentine was offered flowers to women. It all began with a holiday organized by one of the daughters of King Henry IV of France. Each of the present girls received a bouquet of flowers from her bachelor. Above all, however, the fiancé was obliged to send his beloved a tender note on February 14, called Valentine’s Day. This custom even settled at the royal court in Paris. Valentine’s Day was decorated with hearts and cupidons, poems were written on them. In the nineteenth century, they were considered the most romantic way of confessing love. The content of letters was often the words: “You will be my Valentine”. In the United States, Valentine’s letters were anonymous, so they ended with the question “Guess who?”. In Europe, the anonymous sender simply signed “Your Valentine”.

In 1800, American Esther Howland began the tradition of sending ready Valentine’s cards. Today they are mentioned all over the world not only by those in love, but also by children in schools. The most famous creator of them was the French cartoonist Raymond Peynet. He began publishing them in 1965, when on February 14 he was officially proclaimed the Feast of Love in France.

Valentine’s Day 2020 on social media
Are the Germans romantic?

Well, are the Germans, who in Europe enjoy the opinion of practical and hard-hitting ground, romantic? In answer to this question, numbers will come to our aid again – about 70% of German couples use affectionate phrases (in German: Kosenamen) and it must be admitted that they show true finesse. To supplement your German dictionary for this special day, let me quote the most interesting: Zaubermaus (magic mouse), Spatzi (sparrow, birdie), Kuschelchen (cuddle), Sonnenschein (sunshine) or Schnecke (the words can be used interchangeably for an attractive woman, snail and danishes). Sometimes it is also kitsch – beloved often speak to each other as an angel, pearl or star.

Of course, also in Germany, Valentine’s Day is also a hated day – both by singles (about 7.5 million Germans are still looking for their other half online) and couples. So here are some alternative ideas on how to spend this day – alone or in a duet – in the usual Berlin offering something for every taste.

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