When you wish somebody on February 14, you say Happy Valentine’s Day, however, the history of the most romantic holiday of the year isn’t as romantic and happy as one would think

The most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day is almost here and it’s about bundles of roses, heart-shaped presents and a lot of love in the air. If you’re in love, each day is special but for couples around the world, Valentine’s Day remains the most cherished and romantic day of the year.

Candlelight dinners, taking romantic trips together, pampering each other with gifts, Valentine Day is that time when couples celebrate their affection for each other. But beyond the movies, presents, and the lovey-dovey gestures, the day actually has a centuries-old history which dates back to ancient Rome and it’s not as romantic as one would think.

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Here’s the history behind Valentine’s Day:

There are several stories about the origin of February 14 being celebrated as Valentine’s Day. The romantic holiday, as according by Britannica Encyclopedia, originated from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia where people were combined with one another through a lottery draw.

The celebration likewise included rites women were hit by men, allegedly to boost their fertility. Britannica says by the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced the festival with Saint Valentine’s Day.

Different versions claim the celebration of love is named after a martyred holy person called Valentine who was killed by King Claudius II Gothicus. As per other accounts, the holiday was named after Saint Valentine who secretly married off couples to spare their husbands from war.

It was just by the 16th century that formal Valentine’s Day messages showed up. The first business Valentine Day greeting cards appeared just by 1700s. They reached the United States by mid-1800s. While greeting cards presently bear all kinds of symbols like teddy bears, chocolates, diamonds, back in the day’s cards mostly depicted “Cupid” – the Roman god of love.

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In 1913, Valentine Day changed forever as Hallmark Cards started mass production of Valentine Day cards in Kansas City, Missouri.

The day, with its origins in Christianity, is presently praised the world over by people of many religions. With romance all around, many couples also propose to each other on Valentine’s Day. The week leading up to Valentine Day is also celebrated by couples – Rose Day, Propose Day, Teddy Day to name a few.

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