The Romans celebrated the god Lupercalia on February 15 to ask for protection in warding off the danger of wolves. The second is a myth of St. Valentine, a priest who lived in the 3rd century in Rome during the rule of Claudius II. The emperor decide he needed more soldiers and that single men were his preference because they would not be missing their wives when off on a campaign. Being the emperor, he had no restraints and outlawed marriage for all young men of soldiering age. The priest Valentine thought it was unfair and chose to marry loving young couples in secret. Claudius learned of this disobedience and had him thrown into prison and later put to death. Not sure if he was eaten by the lions! Tradition is that young couples whom he married left him cards, notes, and flowers when they visited him in prison. Another slightly different version is that Valentine, the priest, while in prison, fell in love with the jailer’s daughter.Before his death, he sent the first ‘Valentine” to his love and wrote her a letter which he signed as ’Your Valentine.’ These words are still used on valentines today!
This holiday has been a favorite and celebrated since the Middle Ages. In my class each year the celebration was a joyful time. Students would bring in valentines. . . .usually generic ones, but sometime in higher grades special cards and even gifts, deliver them into white bakery bags decorated with hearts that perched on each one’s desk. No party is complete without a game or two.
Before I end this, just a note. . . . .I saw on another blog, this morning that Iran has outlawed Valentine’s Day because of its origin in ancient Christianity. That is sad as I think we can all agree that what the world needs is love. . . . . (Thanks Dianne Warwick, and Hal David and Burt Bacharach)
Images from Wikeopedia and Google images. . . public domain text from http://www.primarygames.com