Day celebration dates back to the ancient times when the 'Feast of
Lupercal' was celebrated in the honour of the Roman God of Fertility.
This day falls on the 15th of February every year. According to a time
worn custom, on the eve of Lupercalia (14th of Feb) a ritual of 'name
drawing' was followed, during which a young man drew the name of a girl
from the lot, who was to be his sweetheart for the whole year. Romance,
has, of course always made the world go round but we must say that these
Romans knew how to make it official. Since then, this day (14th of Feb)
has been considered as the day of Cupid, the mischievous son of Venus
-the Roman Goddess of Love. Lovers through the ages have taken this day
as their own - a day to celebrate the finest human emotion. The reason
for celebration is ageless, but it was much later that a great lover
gave the day his name.
The eternal lover that gave us the famous word 'Valentine' and
originated the tradition of writing love letters on this day, is
believed to be Bishop Valentine. He was a priest in Rome when, the city
was ruled by 'Claudius the Cruel'. Inspite of the fact that Claudius had
forbidden Christian conversions and Christian marriages, the Bishop
refused to surrender to Roman Gods and carried on his religious duties
in secret. He was imprisoned for disobedience, but even in prison he
converted the convicts. While he was in prison, the jailer's daughter
became his friend and was loyal to him through his ordeal. When Claudius
came to know that imprisonment had not broken his enduring Christian
spirit, the bishop was executed. However, on the day of his death
Valentine wrote a note to his friend, 'the jailer's daughter' and signed
it - 'From Your Valentine'. This great man who died for his beliefs, for
his enduring love of the Christian God, was chosen as the patron Saint
of lovers. 14th February has since been celebrated as Valentine's Day.
Romantic souls all over the world have preferred to focus on the
romantic twist of this tale, the story of the man who united lovers in
the holy bond of marriage; a man who loved his jailer's daughter and
started the tradition of writing love notes.