When you think of Valentine's Day, you probably think of pink and red and chocolate and candy. But this holiday is actually said to have started in Rome in the third century, when the emperor was Claudius II. Claudius believed that married men did not make good soldiers, so he did not let his soldiers get married. Then, a saint named Valentine decided to secretly marry couples behind Claudius' back. But when Claudius found out, he hung Valentine.
This isn't the only story behind this sweet holiday. Another story says a saint named Valentine was put in jail, and he fell in love with the daughter of the jail keeper. When the jail keeper found out, he planned to put Valentine to death, but before he did, Valentine wrote a love letter to the jail keeper's daughter, and signed it "Your Valentine."
Whether one of these stories is true or not, Valentine's Day is celebrated every February 14 to honor St. Valentine. Charles, the Duke of Orleans, may have sent the first Valentine message on February 14, 1415. He had been captured during the battle of Agincourt and was in jail, so he wrote a love letter to his wife who was in France.
So this Valentine's Day, you'll know the story behind all of those sweets and love letters! Valentine's Day is about love and showing you love for someone. If you do not have a love interest this Valentine's day, there are other ways you can get involved. Here are a few suggestions…
- Make homemade valentines for your class. They don't have to take too much time or talk about love. Valentine's Day can also celebrate friendship.
- Make valentines for your parents to show them how much you love and care for them. They are an inexpensive way to show your appreciation.
- Some people celebrate by giving each other boxes of chocolate and roses. You may choose to buy a bouquet of roses for your parents or someone else you care about.
- An inexpensive alternative to buying flowers is to pick flowers and arrange them nicely or even to buy seeds and plant your own flowers.
- You might want to bake cookies for your family or friends (remember to have adult supervision when working near an oven).
Author: Julia Ransohoff, high school student writer