Feb. 14 isn’t just for romance. It’s actually a celebration of 16 holidays. It’s Pet Theft Awareness Day, Read to your Child Day, Safer Internet Day, National Organ Donor Day, Library Lovers Day and, of course, it’s Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is probably the most well-known of these holidays. All across the United States, lovers and friends exchange flowers, chocolates and jewelry all in the name of St. Valentine.
But, who is this St. Valentine and how did he become associated with romance?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus; all of which were martyred. One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.
Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine went against Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine was caught, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories say that Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons.
According to one legend, Valentine sent the first “Valentine” greeting after falling in love with a young girl – possibly his jailor’s daughter – who visited him during his sentence. Before his death, it is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” and that brings us to today.
Today about 150 million Valentines are exchanged every year. That’s a lot of love! This makes Valentine’s Day the second most popular holiday behind Christmas.
Here is the full list of celebrations:
Extraterrestrial Culture Day
National Ferris Wheel Day
Frederick Douglass Day
National Have a Hear Day
International Book Giving Day
National Organ Donor Day
International Quirkyalone Day
National Pet Theft Awareness Day
League of Women Voters Day
Race Relations Day
Feb .14- Library Lovers Day
Read to Your Child Day
National Call in Single Day
Safer Internet Day
National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day