Did you know? What is the history and origin of Valentine's Day?

Published by Caroline de Sortiraparis, My de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on February 14th, 2024 at 09:20 a.m.
February 14 is Lovers' Day, more commonly known as Valentine's Day. But do you know who this Valentine is and why we celebrate this event on February 14? We explain the history and origins of Valentine's Day.

Every holiday has its own story. Are you familiar with Valentine's Day, celebrated every February 14th? To tell the truth, its exact origin is a matter of debate.

One of them dates back to the Middle Ages. It was then that the Church decided to celebrate Valentine of Terni, a martyred priest of the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century, he had made a habit of organizing Christian weddings, then forbidden by Emperor Claudius II, who feared that men would become too attached to their wives. The celebration of these secret marriages led to the arrest of Valentin de Terni. He was then sentenced to death... on February 14th. It was in 495 that Pope Gelasius I decided to canonize him and designate him the patron saint of lovers.

Another origin, another story, this time pagan. Here too, we have to go back to antiquity, when the Romans celebrated Lupercus, the god of fertility and protector against wolves, from February 13 to 15, by staging the Lupercales in the streets of Rome. During this race, priests flogged passers-by with leather thongs, believing that this would ensure their fertility.

Finally, another legend, another country and another era. In the 14th century, for the English, February 14th was the start of the mating season, as it was on this date that birds began to mate. From then on, lovers in love would declare their love by writing love poems to each other during this period. A custom that Charles d'Orléans, then imprisoned in England, decided to bring back to France in the 15th century.

Nowadays, many people have decided to make the most of this holiday: pastry chefs, florists, perfumers... all of them bend over backwards to offer the little extra that will make your heart skip a beat.

Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
On February 14th, 2024

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.