Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February is a day devoted to celebrating love, and a chance for couples everywhere to cherish their love for one another by exchanging cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts. While many of us observe Valentine’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day, we may not all be aware of the origins of the day, or the Saint who gave the day his name, so the Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel has put together a special guide for you.
There is a little mystery about the true story of the Saint who gave his name to Valentine’s Day, but most accounts refer to him as Saint Valentine of Rome, a third century Roman priest. Around this time, the Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages, believing that if men were unable to marry, they would make better soldiers, more inclined to leave Rome and fight in the Empire’s campaigns abroad. Refusing to obey Claudius’ edict, Valentine married couples in secret, believing marriage to be the true interpretation of the Church’s teachings and the best expression of true love in the eyes of God. On being brought before the Emperor Claudius, Valentine reportedly tried to convert the Emperor himself to Christianity. For his crimes, Valentine was sentenced to be beheaded, and thus died a martyr on February the 14th. Other stories of St. Valentine also claim he performed the miracle of restoring a young girl’s sight, and also that while he was imprisoned awaiting his execution he wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter which he signed “From Your Valentine”. The Valentine’s story may even be a combination of the histories of several martyrs named Valentine, as there are similar stories attributed to a Valentine who was a Bishop of Terni.
Just as with the story of his life, there is lots of mystery surrounding Valentine’s remains. They were said to have been discovered in the Saint Hippoltyus catacomb in 1836, and subsequently split up. His skull, wearing a crown made of flowers, is on display in Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, while other parts and relics belonging to the saint are said to be located in churches in Dublin and Prague to name but a few. The Church of Metastassis (Transposition) of the The Virgin Mary in Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesvos is also claims to be home to his holy relics.
The History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day may also have been influenced by Lupercalia, an Ancient Roman festival that took place between the 13th and 15th of February, involving wild partying and debaunchery, including a matchmaking lottery, where men would draw women’s names at random from a jar. Valentine’s Day also has some connections to mediaeval Britain during the time of Geoffrey Chaucer, whose poem ‘The Parliament of Fowls’ mentions Valentine’s Day as a special day devoted to love. 18th century Victorian Britain, and the popularity of sending ‘Greetings Cards’ during this time combined with the largely conservative society of the era is said to be the genesis of the anonymous ‘Valentine’s Cards’ we know today.
Valentine’s Day in Greece
Greece is a country with a rich history of romance, love, and romantic expression, and it is the birthplace of Eros, the God of Love and Desire, who is the inspiration behind the Roman God Cupid, a common feature in lots of modern Valentine’s Day imagery. The love story between Eros and his wife Psyche (Goddess of the Soul) is a powerful tale of the power of true love, as Psyche completes a series of seemingly impossible challenges in order to demonstrate her true love of Eros to his mother, Aphrodite.
As it is was influenced largely by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutherian Church calendars celebrating ‘Valentine’s Day’ on February 14th has not been a tradition in Greece because it is a country that follows the Greek Orthodox Church. In the Greek Orthodox Calendar, the 14th February is a day to celebrate Saint Auxentios of Bithynia (modern day Turkey and Syria), who once served in Emperor Theodosius II’s Equestrian Guard. He later became a hermit monk.
Greek Orthodox religion has two separate feast days that celebrate Saints associated with love. The first is actually the day before Valentine’s Day, which is devoted to the Saint Priscilla and Saint Aquila, a loving and devoted couple who were apostles of Saint Paul, travelling with him to spread Christianity and establish Churches.
The other patron saint of love in Greece is Agios Yakinthos, or Saint Hyacinth, whose feast is celebrated on the 3rd of July, particularly on the island of Crete. Much like the more famous Saint Valentine, Saint Hyacinth too was a martyr for his religion. Despite being a member of Emperor Trajan’s household staff in Ancient Rome, Saint Hyacinth refused to worship the official Roman Gods, instead proclaiming his devotion to Christianity. He was imprisoned, and the only food he was offered was that which had been sacrificed to idols. Preferring instead to go hungry rather than consume food which went against his religion, he died a martyr to his love of God.
Romantic Holiday at Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel Mykonos
With its stunning beaches, gorgeous weather, and magical Greek island vibe, Mykonos is the perfect place to plan your romantic escape with your loved one. The Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel in the the stunning Ornos Bay has everything you need for an unforgettable romantic vacation. Relax and unwind in total luxury at the spa, enjoying a range of pampering treatments and massages that can bring you and your partner to a state of total bliss. Bask in the sun together at the two hotel pools with Jacuzzis, or on the warm sand of the Kivotos Hotel private beach, with the sound of the calm waters of Ornos Bay lapping in your ears.
Weddings and Honeymoons in Mykonos
The Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel is an ideal location for weddings and honeymoons too. The beach hotel has its own private chapel, perfect for a gorgeously romantic and intimate wedding ceremony. Our range of specialised wedding packages and the hotel’s expert team of wedding planners remove all the hassle for you, so you can both simply enjoy the most magical day of your lives. The sumptuously opulent luxury rooms and suites at the hotel are an ideal honeymoon getaway, and you can even spirit your partner away aboard the hotel’s private yacht for a cruise and even a candlelit dinner.
The Kivotos Romantic Experience Holiday in Mykonos
To celebrate couple’s love, Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel is offering a special Romantic Experience package which includes several exclusive services to make yours and your loved one’s stay truly magical. Arrive at the Kivotos Hotel in true style with the hotel’s VIP airport transfer service. In the morning you can enjoy a Champagne Breakfast in your luxury Deluxe Jacuzzi Sea View Room or Suite Sea View, admiring the beautiful views of Ornos Bay from your balcony. Experience a relaxing private massage on the hotel’s private beach, and a beach lunch from your specially prepared romantic picnic basket. At night, you and your loved one can enjoy the intimate experience of a once-in-a-lifetime candlelit private dinner under the stars on the private beach, gazing out over the twinkling lights of Ornos Bay. The Kivotos Romantic Experience is ready to book with Kivotos direct today, so don’t delay, and whisk that special someone in your life away to Mykonos for a magical holiday!