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Valentine's Day in Spain: Exploring Intriguing Traditions

Discover the romantic origins of Valentine's Day and its intriguing customs in Spain. Uncover the ancient roots of this celebration and its modern commercial evolution.


Discover the romantic origins of Valentine's Day and its intriguing customs in Spain. Uncover the ancient roots of this celebration and its modern commercial evolution.
Valentine's Day in Spain: Exploring Intriguing Traditions with FENIX.info

Experience the Romance of Valentine's Day in Spain: Explore the Intriguing Traditions. How it All Began...


Valentine's Day, also known as All Lovers' Day (Spanish: Día de San Valentín), as we know it today, with its sweet heart-shaped gifts and chubby cupids on valentines, is undoubtedly a product of modern commercialization.


History of "Valentines"


But it all started with Esther A. Howland, a talented American businesswoman, in the early 1940s. She came up with the idea of selling greeting cards adorned with typical symbols of love (hearts pierced by Cupid's arrows, red roses, and other thematic attributes) on Valentine's Day, the traditional holiday celebrated in Anglo-Saxon countries. She called them "Valentines." The idea was well-received, especially among the youth, and it took off!

Mass distribution of romantic cards


Valentines. Discover the romantic origins of Valentine's Day and its intriguing customs in Spain. Uncover the ancient roots of this celebration and its modern commercial evolution.
Valentines. Valentine's Day in Spain: Exploring Intriguing Traditions with FENIX.info

Later on, the distribution of souvenirs and other Valentine's Day paraphernalia spawned new ideas related to the commercialization of this day: "lovers' spots" started appearing, "lovers' parties" were organized, and musicians even began composing music and songs in honor of Valentine's Day! Thus, the concept of "Valentine's Day" was embraced by all possible economic sectors, and this day naturally evolved into an unofficial holiday!


Throughout the 20th century, much of the civilized world adopted the tradition of celebrating February 14th as Valentine's Day, the patron saint of love. Interestingly, in most Latin American countries, this day is considered a holiday not only for lovers but also for friends, with gifts or flowers exchanged among the closest of friends!


All Lovers' Day: Ancient Origins


However, despite the fact that this holiday became known worldwide thanks to the exceptional commercial acumen of an American lady, its origins date back to Antiquity, to the pagan customs of ancient Greeks and Romans. In 325 AD, at the First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, one of the main topics of discussion was the idea of ​​Christianizing pagan holidays, which were still popular in the declining Roman Spain.


Pope Gelasius I banned the famous Lupercalia in 496 AD - this was an ancient pagan holiday of the Romans, a holiday of fertility, which was celebrated in honor of the god Faunus, traditionally for two days from February 13 to 15.


In search of a Christian replacement for this tumultuous celebration of love and life, the day of commemoration of Saint Valentine was chosen. Ironically, it was chosen simply because this saint was one of the few not yet occupied in the Catholic Church calendar.


Discover the romantic origins of Valentine's Day and its intriguing customs in Spain. Uncover the ancient roots of this celebration and its modern commercial evolution.
Ancient Origins. Valentine's Day in Spain: Exploring Intriguing Traditions with FENIX.info

The Legend of St. Valentine, Roses, and the First "Valentine"


The most popular legend of St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers, tells of a young priest who lived in the time of Emperor Claudius II, who ruled the remnants of the Roman Empire from 268 to 270 AD. This emperor, like most tyrants, was a despot: he forbade young Romans to marry, believing that bachelors made much better soldiers than married men.


Priest Valentine disagreed with him and continued to secretly marry young lovers. Claudius, enraged upon learning of the disobedience, ordered one of his officers to capture and execute him. Valentine was seized and imprisoned.


Asterius (the name of this legionnaire), mocking the captive Valentine, demanded that the Christian, in the name of his God, restore sight to his blind daughter. To the surprise of the warrior, the future saint did this, but it did not save him from a martyr's death.


By the way, they say...


By the way, they say that the young priest managed to fall in love with the beautiful Julia before his death, whom he miraculously healed. He wrote her a love letter, signed "Your Valentine," (supposedly) becoming the ancestor of all modern "valentines"!


And Julia, after the execution of her beloved, planted an almond tree with pink flowers on his grave, which has since become a symbol of love and true friendship. By the way, the whole family converted to Christianity after these events.


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