Today, we associate Valentine’s Day with romance, but the origins of this day had little to do with floral bouquets and candy hearts. The stories vary, but the events that led to marking the occasion had to do with more serious events involving Roman emperors and a local priest named Valentine.
The history behind the day began in Rome many centuries ago. There is some debate about which event may have served as the catalyst for the holiday now known as St. Valentine’s Day.
One narrative is that a Roman emperor during the third century, Claudius II, forbade the marriage of young adults in order to ensure that soldiers would be fully committed to their duties. A priest named Valentine defied this decree by marrying young men and women in the Church anyway. The emperor meted out maximum punishment, which led to Valentine’s sainthood.
Another legend is related to an annual festival of fertility, called Lupercalia, during which much wine was consumed. Romance also played a part of this event, which resulted in great revelry! As the Roman Empire became more Christian and less pagan, the day may have become dedicated to a Saint named Valentine who worked to christianize the festival.
Regardless of which story actually led to the day as we know it now, St. Valentine became known as the patron saint of lovers.
Valentine’s Day in Modern Times
The holiday has evolved into a modern celebration of love. In America, couples take time to enjoy each other’s company. They traditionally bestow on each other sentimental greeting cards and thoughtful gifts and flowers. And, of course, share a romantic dinner!
Come Celebrate Valentines Day with your special someone at Cucina Venti in Mountain View, California
A romantic dinner is the best way to demonstrate your love on Valentine’s Day. Come join us as we celebrate Valentine’s Day at our beautiful Mountain View Italian restaurant. We will be offering a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu of four courses all week, from February 9th through February 18th, so you can book a reservation on a day that suits your schedule. Call us at (650) 651-4838, or feel free to contact us online for reservations.