Dear Amy: Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? — Blake Z., Boise, Idaho
Dear Blake: Valentine’s Day has its origins in the ancient pagan festival Lupercalia, which Pope Gelasius I changed to a Christian feast around 500 A.D. The holiday was to be celebrated on February 14, which was the date on which three early Christian saints named Valentine were thought to have been martyred.
Fast-forward to the 14th century, when the medieval English poet Chaucer is credited with linking St. Valentine’s Day to love. The holiday that we celebrate today retains several symbols from ancient times, from Cupid, the cherubic symbol for the Roman god of love, to roses and hearts. Many gift traditions such as flowers, cards, candy and jewelry began in France and England in the 18th century.
Did you know that valentine chocolates were introduced by the Cadbury chocolate company in the Victorian era? Today, more than $1.7 billion is spent on valentine candy each year, according to various sources.
To learn more, visit Valentine’s Day Facts, kidskonnect.com/holidays-seasons/valentines-day and Valentine’s Day History, infoplease.com/spot/
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