Who was Valentine and why is it celebrated?
Some people think that St. Valentine‘s Day, like other celebrations, is an invention of the department stores. But the truth is that any excuse is good to celebrate life with a glass of wine by the hand and, in this case with more reason, because the history of Valentine’s Day goes back to the time of the Roman Empire.
First, let us present Saint Valentine, a ‘rebel‘ priest in the time of Emperor Claudius II. It seems that the Roman boss had forbidden young soldiers to marry because, in his opinion, being unmarried made them better soldiers.
But in that time lived a priest to whom this decision not seemed unfair and decided to bypass the norms of Claudius II, so he married the soldiers who so requested for it. When the Emperor found out, he got so angry that he called the palace and decapitated him. This was on February 14th, 270 b.C.
This is one of the stories that reveal why St. Valentine is the day of lovers, but there are still legends that go back further in time.
The festival of the ‘lupercales‘ in the ancient Rome
In the first century b.C, Lupercals were celebrated in Rome in Lupercus honour, protector of the flocks and shepherds, but also a wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, founders of the city. It was a festival of pagan origin that coincided with the beginning of the spring season and celebrated fertility; this celebration on February 14th.
In 494 a.C Pope Gelasius I decided to turn St. Valentine into a Catholic celebration, as it happened with other festivities during the fifth century.
It was in the Middle Age when St. Valentine‘s Day began to be associated with romantic love and the exchange of gifts; although in some countries, especially in Latin America, is not celebrated the day of love, but the day of friendship.
Already in the twentieth century the celebration of St. Valentine‘s Day and its relationship with the day of lovers was the subject of department stores that, in a way, have distorted it. Today it is use that couples share this day together, enjoy special activities and make gifts, such as flowers, chocolate or wine.
In Nexus & Frontaura we think that any date is valid to celebrate, any day of the week and occasion. But if, in addition, you can share with loved ones, what else can you ask for?
Visiting a winery, like Nexus in the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Duero, and enjoying great wines in a special lunch or dinner is a fantastic plan to do. But if it takes place on a date such as St. Valentine‘s Day, that celebration takes on a special meaning.