Valentine's Day originates from the ancient Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on 15 February in honour of the gods Lupercus and Faunus (as well as the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus). During the festival, young men would draw the names of women from a box, and each couple would be paired until next year's celebration. Often they would fall in love and marry.
At around 270AD Rome was facing battles and civil uprising. The men were not keen to join the army. Emperor Claudius II believed that the men did not want to leave their loved ones and summarily cancelled all marriages and engagements. Two priests, Valentine and Marius, disobeyed the decree and secretly performed marriage ceremonies. Valentine was caught on 14 February and dragged to jail. Later in the day he was clubbed to death and beheaded. It is said that, before his execution, Valentine himself had fallen in love with the jailer's daughter. He signed his final note to her, "From your Valentine."
What a load of soppy nonsense. Did everyone have a nice time last night? I went and hung out with some other single DiSers and tried to drink my hangover away. Better than watching the Brits, anyroad.