Valentine's Day Not All About Love

Friday is Valentine's Day, but some people are hoping Cupid will just keep his arrows to himself.

For many singles, it's the holiday they love to hate.

In some cities, anti-Valentine's Day parties are being held -- complete with black balloons. Anti-Valentine's Day cards are also making their appearance in stores and on the Internet.

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Valentine’s Day History

Origins of Valentine’s Day

  • There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Many believe that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity.

  • Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".

  • Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine.

History of Saint Valentine’s Day

  • In ancient Rome, Feb. 14 was a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage.

  • Following Valentine’s Day, Feb. 15, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

  • On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Valentine’s Day Traditions

  • Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing from home to home.

  • In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Feb. 14. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"

  • Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

Source: A collection of web reports contributed to this report.