The New York TimesThe New York Times

Did Valentine’s Day start as a Roman party or to celebrate an execution?

By Liam Stack

14 Feb 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Valentines's Day is upon us once again, a tradition that can be traced to Roman times. The NYT explores the many historical events which have led to the modern celebrations.

Valentine’s Day is upon us again. It’s a time of candlelit dinners, heart-shaped candy boxes from the drugstore and (depending on your relationship status) watching old romantic comedies while you drink wine by yourself.

It’s a great celebration. But where did it come from? And why do we care about it so much?

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