Long ago, in Pagan times, the holiday of Lupercalia was celebrated. This was an ancient pagan festival; a festival of fertility. Dedicated to the Roman god, Faunus, and dating as far back as 736BC, it served to encourage the fertility of both agriculture and women. As it was held on February 15th, it is believed that this day is strongly linked to our own Valentine’s Day.
Valentine was a popular name back in history: there are records of at least three young chaps sharing this name, all thought to have something to do with Valentine’s Day. Strangely, they were all executed on the same day.14th February!
According to legend, the most documented Valentine of these three was that of Saint Valentine, a priest who attracted the disapproval of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270BC. Apparently, Claudius II prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Aversely, Priest Valentine continued to perform secret marriage ceremonies for these soldiers until he was eventually apprehended by the Romans and put to death on February 14th.
Moving on from Pagan and Christian legends, we fall into the 14th century and begin to look at works from the infamous Geoffrey Chaucer. It is said that the earliest evidence of an association between Valentine’s Day and the act of celebrating romantic love is in a 14th-century poem by Chaucer. The title of the poem is the ‘Parliament of Fowls’, where the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine’s Day are all linked for the first time: “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”
Cards of Love:
By the 18th Century, Valentine’s Day was fully ensconced as a day to celebrate love. Cards and gifts made by hand were exchanged as a way to cement relationships and even to initiate them. In the USA, Valentine’s Day took longer to surface. Having been impressed by the cards in Britain, Esther Howland started to design and sell cards: and the rest, they say, is history. The celebration of Christmas has always been a top commercial earner but, today, Valentine’s Day is a close second. It is a day young couples in love embrace all over the world. A day too which businesses embrace with glee all over the world!
Home House is a social hotspot for people from all walks of life, which is part of its unique appeal. Quite unlike many other Members Clubs in Soho, Home House is a place to enjoy leisure time or the perfect spot for a working day. Home House is London’s premier Valentine’s destination.