Valentine's Day, celebrated on February 14th, is a holiday that has its origins in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. This festival, which was celebrated in mid-February, honored the Roman god of fertility, Lupercus, and was a time for young men and women to come together and find potential partners.
However, the holiday as we know it today, with its focus on romantic love and the exchange of gifts, has its origins in the Christian tradition. The Catholic Church recognizes several saints named Valentine or Valentinus, and one of these saints, Saint Valentine of Rome, is said to have been martyred on February 14th. Over time, this Saint Valentine became associated with romantic love, and the holiday evolved into a day for expressing love and affection to those closest to us.
In Ireland, Valentine's Day is celebrated in much the same way as it is in other parts of the world. Couples exchange gifts, such as flowers Irish jewellery or chocolates, and go out for romantic meals or dates. Many Irish people also choose to express their love through traditional forms of Irish culture, such as poetry and music.
In Ireland, it is common to celebrate Valentine's Day with a night out at a traditional Irish pub where you can enjoy live music, good food and a pint of Guinness.
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of celebrating Valentine's Day on February 13th, where young Irish come together to celebrate their friendships and support for each other. This day is celebrated with a girls night out, such as a spa day, high tea or a night out at the pub.