Valentine’s Day is just round the corner, so prepare for a whole lot of loved-up pictures, heart-shaped chocolates and expensive meals out.
The day has different meaning to various people, and others don't celebrate it at all.
Some celebrate by giving their loved ones a handwritten card, giving them a gift, just spending time together or eating a romantic meal with them.
Others will post a cute picture on Instagram with a romantic quote.
For some it might be the day you feel more single than than ever before. Or maybe it’s just a normal day for you, or a day to celebrate friendships.
But no matter how you spend the day, you might have wondered why it is celebrated in the first place.
When is Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 every year. In 2020 it falls on a Friday.
What is Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is an annual festival to celebrate romantic love, friendship and admiration.
It is celebrated by countries around he world, but particularly in the West.
You don’t get a day off work, but couples will usually spend time together, go for a meal, or give each other a handwritten card.
Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated?
The celebration is named after Saint Valentine, who was a Catholic priest in Rome in the third century AD.
The story goes that Emperor Claudius II banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers.
But Valentine thought it was very unfair, and went against the Emperor to arrange marriages in secret.
However, Emperor Claudius eventually found out. Valentine was sent to prison, and sentenced to death.
While in prison, Valentine fell in love with a jailer’s daughter.
Legend has it Valentine cured her blindness.
On February 14 in the year 270, he was taken to be killed, and sent her a letter, signed “from your Valentine”.
Because of this, St Valentine became known as the patron saint of love.
However, it wasn’t until more than 200 years later that February 14 was proclaimed Valentine’s Day.
The Valentine’s Day itself is said to have originated from a Roman festival known as Lupercalia.
The festival of fertility was celebrated in mid-February even before St Valentine’s time.
During this festival men and women were believed to have paired off by choosing names from a jar.
Some historians believe this may have influenced the way we celebrate February 14.