The origins of Valentine’s Day stem from the pre-roman Lupercalia festivals, originally celebrated around 15 February in honour of the god Lupercus.Lupercus was the Roman god of fertility; protector of agriculture and shepherds. The Pagan celebrations, where locals would sing and dance in the hope of obtaining a blessing from God; were held to honour love and fertility.
These Lupercalia festivals took place every year. One of the many traditions was that young men would pick the name of a young woman from an urn. They would then spend the duration of the banquet together. Couples were known to fall in love, and even get married!
The Lupercalia festivals were eventually suppressed by the Pope Gelasius I in 495, as he deemed the celebrations too degrading.
It is said the Catholic Church then chose to honour the priest Valentine; whom was put to death a February 14 for marrying Christian couples in secret, thus going against Roman rule.