Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across Ghana and in other places around the world, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.
But if you're not Valentine's Day's biggest fan, take heart. It didn't start out as a day of love. Its origins lie in jail cells and death.
But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from?
According to sources, every year, the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia from Feb. 13-15. This pagan fertility festival celebrated an ancient god who protected the people from wolves.
According to CNN, One Valentine had been prosecuted by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus after he refused to worship the Roman gods. While in prison, he signed a letter that said “from your Valentine” to a woman he allegedly healed from blindness.
Many have said the holiday could be inspired by his kindness and love.
Around the same time, a priest named St. Valentine of Terni went against the emperor’s orders and secretly married young, swooning couples.
Emperor Gothicus, however, believed unmarried men made better soldiers. Nothing to love, less to lose.
Gothicus executed him on February 14 around 269 AD, history says. Since he died for the sin of arranging marriages, his death is remembered as a day of love.
In the third century, Emperor Claudius II ordered for the death of two men on Feb. 14. Their names? Valentine and Valentine. They were executed in different years, but the Catholic Church later honored them both as martyrs and named Feb. 14 St. Valentine's Day.
Today, the holiday is celebrated throughout the world with gifts including red roses, chocolates, Sweethearts, movie dates and much more.