Lovers’ Day is an important part of Irish life! Every 14th February, it is always the same ballet! Flowers, chocolates, gifts, restaurant… In short, great classics for this celebration! But did you know that the Irish also have an original tradition which does not exist in any other country and which is associated with Valentine’s Day? You can find out more here…
Valentine’s Day has a very special value in Ireland! Beyond reuniting couples in love, it is a way to pay tribute to Saint Valentine’s Day! For the history, this saint would have been born in Italy, in the 3rd century, under the reign of Emperor Claudius II the Gothic. The latter, was then known to be an authoritarian tyrant, used to persecute Christians.
Very involved in the development of Christianity, Father Valentin regularly offered his help to the Christians of his town. He even went so far as to celebrate Christian marriages in secret, even though this practice was forbidden.
He was eventually discovered, imprisoned and sentenced to be beaten to death. Nevertheless, his sentence was commuted and he was beheaded on February 14, 269 and buried.
It was not until 1836 that his relics were transported and finally laid to rest in Dublin. Pope Gregory XVI in fact made the remains of the Saint to John Spratt, an Irish Carmelite religious who was much appreciated in Rome. Since then, the Saint is buried in a small church in Dublin on Aungier Street…
Valentine’s Day is a fairly classic holiday, but usually takes on a whole new meaning in Ireland during leap years! The tradition would indeed like that every leap year, it is the women who ask for their companions in marriage!
This event would echo Valentine’s Day: tired of waiting for men to propose to them, they would exceptionally be allowed to propose themselves during the day of February 29th!
A rather amusing tradition, which would draw its sources from the time of Saint Brigitte, the patron saint of the Irish. The latter would have asked St. Patrick for exceptional permission to allow impatient women to propose themselves.
Which Saint Patrick would have said yes to, provided it only happens every 7 years! Saint Brigitte replied that the periodicity was too long, and managed to negotiate 4 years, relying on leap years. This is how this tradition would have been born!