While it may be tempting to associate VALENTINE’S DAY as a holiday intended for indulging in chocolatey impulses and filling your home with heart-shaped decorations, this holiday’s origin isn’t as sweet as one would assume. The history of Valentine’s Day dates back to 268 A.D. Legend has it that during this time period, many Romans were converting to CHRISTIANITY. EMPEROR CLAUDIUS II was a PAGAN (e.g., a person who worships many gods or goddesses) and created inflexible laws about what Christians were allowed to do. Emperor Claudius yearned for a fierce team of men to fight in his army. He felt that when his SOLDIERS were sharing their life with a wife and children or were in love, they were more cautious in battle. To strengthen his armies, he BANNED (to prohibit, forbid, put an end to or stop) MARRIAGE for those young men.
Spell: HOLIDAY Spell: SWEET Spell: SOLDIERS
Who banned marriage for young men? EMPEROR CLAUDIUS II
Emperor Claudius II wanted a strong ____________. ARMY
What items are typically associated with Valentine’s Day, as mentioned above?
CHOCOLATE or HEART SHAPED DECORATIONS
Give one synonym for the banned mentioned above. STOP, PUT AN END TO, FORBID, or PROHIBIT
Name another gift that is usually given on Valentine’s Day. CARDS, JEWELRY, FLOWERS
How do you and your family celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Although Claudius banned marriage, this did not stop people from falling in love and wanting to be viewed as one under the eyes of the CHURCH. A romantic and brave PRIEST named VALENTINE felt Claudius’ law was unjust (unfair, wrong, undeserved, or unwarranted). He decided to defy the emperor’s orders and secretly marry couples. Unfortunately, he was caught and later EXECUTED (murdered, killed, or put to death) on FEBRUARY 14th of the year 270. Legend also tells of another story, in which, during imprisonment, Valentine tutored a blind girl named JULIA.
It is believed that on the eve of his execution, Valentine sent the first “valentine” to her, signing it with a familiar phrase, “From Your Valentine.” Centuries later, POPE GELASIUS I announced the day of his death as St. Valentine’s Day.
Spell: CHURCH Spell: BRAVE Spell: POPE
Who defied the emperor’s order and secretly married couples? VALENTINE
What month was Valentine executed? FEBRUARY
Where did Valentine meet Julia? JAIL
Valentine was described as ___________. BRAVE or ROMANTIC
Give one synonym for the unjust mentioned above. UNFAIR, WRONG, UNDESERVED, or UNWARRANTED
What is another term of endearment? SWEETHEART, DARLING
As some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to honor the anniversary of Valentine’s death- others claim that the CHRISTIAN church selected this date to “Christianize” the Pagan celebration of LUPERCALIA. Lupercalia was an ancient FESTIVAL held on February 15th in ROME. It differs from Valentine’s Day in that it was a more violently charged celebration, with random match-making and animal sacrifices, in hopes of fending off evil spirits and infertility. Roman priests began the rituals at LUPERCAL CAVE, where they performed the SACRIFICE of one or more male goats and a dog. Following the ritual sacrifice was a feast and then a drawing of names to determine couples for the duration of the festival. Couples often stayed together until the following year’s festival. Many fell in love and married.
Spell: EVIL SPIRIT Spell: CAVE Spell: ANIMAL
Where the city was Lupercalia held? ROME
The second event in the festival was a _________. FEAST
People performed animal sacrifices in hopes to fend off__________. EVIL SPIRITS or INFERTILITY
Name one animal that was sacrificed. A DOG or A GOAT
What is one of the events that take place at Lupercalia? DRAWING OF NAMES TO DETERMINE COUPLES, SACRIFICE OF ONE OR MORE MALE GOATS AND A DOG, or A FEAST
How many days apart are Valentine’s Day and Lupercalia? 15th – 14th = 1
What are your thoughts or opinion of the events that take place during Lupercalia?
One may be wondering, what part does Cupid play in Valentine’s Day? The original CUPID was more of a HEARTTHROB than a cherub (a beautiful or innocent-looking child). Dating back to 700 BC, “Cupid” was called EROS. Eros- the son of APHRODITE (the goddess of love), would play with the hearts of GODS and MORTALS to cause COMMOTION (i.e., disturbance, racket, uproar, or mayhem). He was considered both good-looking and threatening, as he would use his power to make people fall in love. Most associate Cupid with an image of a winged baby boy with an arrow, who is yet another symbol of the loved-filled holiday.
Spell: ARROW Spell: LOVE Spell: POWER
Who was the Goddess of Love? APHRODITE
A ________ is defined as a beautiful or innocent-looking child. CHERUB
Name another word for ‘commotion. MAYEM, DISTURBANCE, RACKET, or UPROAR
Eros played with the hearts of __________. GODS or MORTALS Who is another Greek God? ZEUS, POSEIDON, APOLLO, ATHENA, HADES
VAKT: Draw a heart as it is shown on the postcard.
As the years passed, the holiday grew much sweeter. SHAKESPEARE and CHAUCER romanticized it in their work, which caused it to gain popularity throughout EUROPE. The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION introduced factory-made cards in the 19th century. In 1913, HALLMARK CARDS of Kansas City, MISSOURI, began mass-producing valentines. Then, along came HERSHEY’s, CADBURY, and other chocolate manufacturers advertising sweets for one’s sweetheart. Because it was thought that the avian or bird mating season begins in mid-February, birds also became a symbol of the day. Greeting card companies estimated that over a billion cards are purchased on Valentine’s Day, in addition to people sending flowers, jewelry, and candy. The top spending categories on Valentine’s Day 2020 were JEWELRY (totaling $5.8 billion of all spending), an evening out ($4.3 billion), flowers ($2.3 billion), clothing ($2.9 billion), and candy ($2.4 billion).
Spell: CARD Spell: CANDY Spell: SWEETS
Hallmark Cards are located in Kansas City, _________. MISSOURI
__________ or bird mating season is also in February. AVIAN
Name one top spending category from 2020. JEWELRY, AN EVENING OUT,
FLOWERS, CLOTHING, or CANDY
Name a poet who helped to romanticize the holiday as mentioned above. SHAKESPEARE or CHAUCER
How many years has Hallmark Cards been in business? 2021 – 1913 = 108 Consumers spent _____________ billion dollars more on jewelry than candy in the year 2020 for Valentine’s Day. 5.8 – 2.4 = 3.4
Name another famous poet. EMILY DICKINSON, ROBERT FROST, WALT WHITMAN, EDGAR ALLEN POE, etc.
What’s another candy/chocolate manufacturer not mentioned in the text? FERRERO, NESTLE, LINDT, HARIBO What are your favorite sweets?
VAKT: Point to both red heart chocolates.
1. If you could be a Greek god, what power would you want and why?
2. Describe your ‘picture perfect’ Valentine’s Day.
3. What would your Valentine’s Card look like?
Make a Valentine’s Day card for a loved one.