Cultures & Customs From The Other Culture--010: History Of Valente's Day--By Mr. Johnny Fox (Ireland)

I am really a lucky person that I received several good and friendly letters to introduce something about Valentine's Day around this festival. Here, I would like to publish the letter from Mr. Johnny Fox (Scotland)and I really think it is helpful to me and maybe to you to know something about Valentine's Day.

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? What is your next fesitival in your culture?

If you would like to share something about your cultures here, if you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to , or, You are welcomed to publish your opinions in the forum. too. :-)   

-- Shirley
Fri, Feb 24, 2006

Hi Shirley,

As you already know St. Valentine's Day was a few days ago and I found some information from a magazine I found which might interest you regarding St. Valentine's Day.


According to legend, St Valentine was a priest who served in Rome in the third century, during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. The Emperor decided single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young males. Valentine was outraged and continued to perform secret marriages for young lovers against the emperor's wishes.

Valentine is said to have sent the first Valentine's greeting. While he was in prison, he fell in love with a young girl who may have been his jailer's daughter. Before his death, he wrote a letter which he signed, "From your Valentine". When Valentine's secret weddings were discovered, Claudius ordered that be be put to death. He was executed in 269.

By the fifth century, by which time Christianity was the dominant religion in Europe, Pope Gelasius declared 14 February the feast of St Valentine. This day fell on the eve of an ancient pagan festival honouring Juno, the goddess of women and marriage. For the duration of this springtime festival, young girls and boys, who were usually segregated were paired off. Each boy would select a slip of paper from a bowl or jar on which a girl's name had been written. Today elements of the pagan festival are still evident in the celebration of the fesast of St Valetntine's Day, and he has become the patron saint of lovers.

In medieval times it was commonly thought that 14 February was the mating day for birds. There were also superstitions relating to young maidens and the first bird they might see on that day. For instance, spying a goldfinch meant marrying a wealthy man. The custom of marking this day with the writing of love songs or verses evolved into the sending of Valentine cards, which by the end of the 18th century were being commercially produced. In 1835 Pope Gregory XVI gave some of St Valentine's remains to John Spratt, an Irish Carmelite, then preaching in Rome. The relics were brought to Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, where they remain to this day in a specially built shrine.

I hope you found the article interesting.

Take care