The origin of Valentine’s Day: why is it celebrated?

The Valentine’s Day It is celebrated throughout the world, and known globally as Valentine’s Day. Now, do you know who was Saint Valentine of Rome? Why is the protagonist of February 14?

This holiday takes us back to the third century, after Christ. In Rome, the great capital of the largest known Empire, the emperor, Claudius II, considered that his young soldiers should not marry, since the fact that they had no family made them more useful. Disobeying this decree, the priest Valentine carried out the marriages in a hidden way, until the emperor was aware of it.

Valentine was sentenced to death for this, on February 14, 270. In his honor, tradition has maintained the commemoration of Valentine’s Day, to this day.

Where is February 14 celebrated?

In Europe, the vast majority of nations have this tradition today (Spain, France, Belgium or Austria, among others). However, still in the Old Continent itself we have Baltic countries, such as Finland or Estonia, in which this date is celebrated as a day of friendship, and is used especially to arrange marriages.

On the other hand, in South America for example, there are very different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we see some of the most curious:

In Mexico they know it as The Day of Love and Friendship. The population receives and shares candies, flowers and balloons. It is more a day of fraternal ideology, of union, than of what is the love of a couple as such.

In Guatemala it is known as the Day of Affection. Here, as in Mexico, sweets are given, but it does have a sentimental symbolism, in terms of couples. However, they also do not stop giving gifts and displays of affection to friends and co-workers.

In Brazil they celebrate Two Namorados Day, but instead of Valentine’s Day, in honor of Saint Anthony, the saint of marriage and love. The date is June 12, not February 14.

Peruvians, for their part, celebrate it by giving orchids instead of roses. As Carnival is celebrated on the same day, it is considered a public holiday, and many celebrate with group weddings.

In Colombia it is celebrated on September 20. Interestingly, this day is full of secret admirers who give gifts to profess their love.