Around the world, the fourteenth of February is commonly known as Valentine’s Day, a time where boys and girls shower their significant others with love and gifts.
“Valentine’s Day is a great day for people who have someone to celebrate it with,” said Yvette Czeh, a Script Writing major at Pellissippi State Community College. “If you’re single, it’s not as exciting. I believe it is important to understand the origins of Valentine’s Day, rather than glorifying it as only a day of romance, so it is a more inclusive for everybody to enjoy.”
Though origins of the holiday are unclear in context of fact and theory, the first unravelling of its history dates back to the Middle Ages.
According to History.com, the Middle Ages was a time when French and Englishmen were strong in believing the day of February 14 marked the beginning of birds’ mating season, signifying this specific time as a day of romance in the Pagan religion.
Though the true beginning of celebration of Saint’s Day, another title for the romantic holiday, the first record of St. Valentine’s Day came from a poem written by English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
In Chaucer’s poem “Parliament of Foules,” Chaucer began stating, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” according to History.com.
According to History.com, Chaucer’s passage, written in 1375, designated Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration for the first time.
“It’s not surprising that another holiday that’s been so commercialized actually has fascinating cultural origins,” said Lee Webb, a Business Management major. “Most of our holidays have original uses and society contexts that have been forgotten by now, and in many cases blatantly disrespected.”