Valentine's Day: What day does it fall on this year, who is St Valentine, why is the day celebrated and what is Galentine's Day?
WHETHER you prefer to celebrate Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day, the days of love are fast approaching.
Last year, the celebrations were put on pause for many lovers across the UK due to lockdown restrictions.
Valentine's Day is also known as Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine – but when is the day held and why is it celebrated?
Here is everything you need to know:
What day does Valentine's fall on in 2022?
Valentine's Day is celebrated annually on February 14.
February 14 will fall on a Monday this year.
Who was St Valentine?
The day gets its name from St Valentine.
The popular belief of the saint is that he was a priest from Rome during the third century AD.
Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages due to his belief that married men were bad soldiers.
St Valentine contested this and arranged marriages in secret.
The saint was then caught and sentenced to death.
Whilst awaiting his fate, he fell in love with his jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14, he sent her a letter signed 'from your Valentine.’
When was the first Valentine’s day?
The first Valentine's Day was held back in 496 and is thought to have originated from an old Roman festival.
The Romans celebrated Lupercalia in mid-February, which was their official start of springtime.
As part of the celebrations, boys drew the names of girls from a box and they would then become partners.
In most cases, the relationship would lead to marriage.
The Roman church decided they wanted to turn Lupercalia into a Christian festival alongside remembering the late St Valentine.
Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day?
By the end of the 15th century, 'Valentine' was used to describe a lover in songs and poems and by the 19th century, Valentine's cards were being mass-produced so lovers could show their appreciation for their partner.
Over the years, Valentine's has gone from being a religious celebration to a commercial holiday.
Many choose to celebrate the day by showing tokens of appreciation to their loved ones in writing, gifts, booking a dinner in a restaurant, or simply spending time together.
Shops are filled with gifting ideas for Valentine's and restaurants usually offer special promotions or set menus for lovers on the day.
What is Galentine's Day?
Galentine's Day is a celebration of friendship and is usually held on February 13 every year.
The idea of Galentine's Day was created by Amy Poehler's Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope.
She debuted the holiday back in a 2010 episode where she wished to celebrate her female friends on February 13.
Leslie stated: 'Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”
In the episode, Leslie showers her friends with gifts like handmade mosaics of their faces and essays on why she loves them.
Much like Valentine's Day, the celebration of friendship is not a national holiday but is equally as popular as the day of love itself.