Discover Canterbury: Valentine’s Day

Teri Findlater and James Willmott, of Linwood Kindergarten, participate in the social custom of expressing their affection with gifts on February 14th, (St.) Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day at Linwood Kindergarten. © Christchurch Star. CCL-StarP-04505A.

It has been suggested that the custom has origins in Lupercalia, a Roman festival conducted annually on February 15th to celebrate the coming of spring, purify the city, and promote health and fertility. It is said that Pope Gelasius I, under the Christian church, forbid the celebration of Lupercalia at the end of the 5th century, and it is he who is sometimes attributed with replacing it with Valentine's Day. Though there is no contemporary evidence that this is the case, and furthermore it is likely the origin of the holiday was not until much later.

This image is part of the Christchurch Star Archive which can be viewed on Canterbury Stories

Do you have any photographs celebrating Valentine's Day in Canterbury? If so, we would love for you to contribute to our collection.

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