History for Kids: The Origins of Valentines Day

Valentines Day is just around the corner and everybody’s getting ready to celebrate! But do you know the history behind Valentines Day? If not, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to discuss the fun and interesting origins of Valentines Day from the Roman Empire, a Christian saint, and the many other origins and influences on Valentines Day.

Kids of all ages will love learning about valentines day whether they’re at home or in the classroom. We have tons of Valentines Day crafts and actives that would be perfect to do alongside learning about the history. Some of our posts will be linked at the end of this article!

The History of valentines day

History for Kids: The Origins of Valentines Day image of paper with hot pink heart drawn on by red crayon  next to horizontal box of multicolored crayons on white wooden table-Kids Activities Blog.

Valentines Day is celebrated on February 14th by people all across the world as a time to show our love for each other. But how did the Valentines Day come to be? Let’s find out by looking into the past!

lupercalia

Some of the origins of Valentines Day can be attributed to the Roman holiday Lupercalia, which happened from February 13th to the 15th. The holiday was a celebration of the founding of Rome.

History for Kids: The Origins of Valentines Day image of statue of statue of the Roman wolf Lupus with babies Romulus an Remus in black silhouette against gray sky-Kids Activities Blog
A statue of the Roman mother wolf lupa

The festival was dedicated to the Roman god Fannus, who was a god of love, and the she-wolf Lupa who raised Romulus and Remes, the founders of Rome.

Lupercalia was celebrated by the Romans to ensure that love would flow through Rome and allow for married couples to have babies. An offering would be given to the Roman god Fannus during the festival and celebrations would be had.

Saint valentines

Another one of the origins of Valentines Day is the Christian saint, Saint Valentine. He lived in the 3rd Century CE under the Roman Empire and was known for defying the laws the Roman government had against either Christians, or marriage between couples.

In some stories Saint Valentine stood up for Christians who were being persecuted under the rule of the Roman emperor. In other stories, the emperor had banned young men from getting married so he could have more stories. Saint Valentine did not want to stop young love, so he married young Roman couples in secret. Whichever story may be true, the Roman authorities did not like that Saint Valentine was violating their laws, so he was captured and martyred.

History for Kids: The Origins of Valentines Day image of Roman ruined columns in front of Italian buildings in Rome-Kids Activities Blog.
Some ancient roman ruins in the city of rome

Saint Valentine would become an important figure for many Christians through the 3rd century and into the medieval era. He was seen as a someone to look up to by medieval Christians. Many celebrated his feast day, called Saint Valentines’s Day, whether they celebrated as Christians or celebrated it as a secular holiday.

Eventually, Saint Valentines’s Day would become more and more popular as a secular celebration of love until it was renamed as Valentines Day!

MORE VALENTINE’S DAY ACTIVITIES & PRINTABLES from kids activites blog

MORE FUN HISTORY CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG

Sources

Encyclopedia, Ancient History. “The History of Valentines Day: From the Lupercalia to Cupid.” World History Encyclopedia RSS. https://www.worldhistory.org#organization, January 25, 2024. Last modified January 25, 2024. Accessed January 27, 2024. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2278/the-history-of-valentines-day-from-the-lupercalia/.

Khan, Syed Muhammad. “Valentine’s Day.” World History Encyclopedia. https://www.worldhistory.org#organization, January 25, 2024. Last modified January 25, 2024. Accessed January 27, 2024. https://www.worldhistory.org/Valentine’s_Day/. 

“St. Valentine.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d. Accessed January 27, 2024. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Valentine.

 

Reference

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