This week the Historical Research Partners blog touches on the origins of Valentine's Day, which gets its romantic connotations from the Roman Festival of Lupercalia traditionally celebrated on Feb. 15.
According to the blog: "The association of St. Valentine’s Day with love and romance is rooted in the Roman festival of Lupercalia which was celebrated on February 15. On this day, the Romans honored the god, Lupercus, and picked a romantic partner for the year. The Catholic Church commonly chose to offer Christians an alternative to pagan celebrations. Hence, in the 5th century Pope Gelasius I established February 14 as a day to honor St. Valentine. Nonetheless, Roman men continued their former traditions in seeking out the affections of women. Expressing love and affection on Valentine’s Day has been widely popular since the Middle Ages, though written notes were not commonplace until around 1400."
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