Valentine’s Day arrives in Harlan

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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Valentine’s Day has arrived in Harlan County, bringing with it all the usual traditions and accouterments everyone has become familiar with, from gifts of flowers and candy for that special person to date nights at a local restaurant, Valentine’s Day is for those wishing to express their feelings toward their significant other.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica website at, the origin of Valentine’s Day is cloudy, but it may have its roots in Lupercalia, a festival held in mid-February by the Romans. The festival was a celebration of the coming of spring, which included fertility rights and a lottery for pairing women with men. Pope Gelasius I forbid the celebration of Lupercalia in the 5th century. Valentine’s Day was not celebrated as a day of romance until sometime around the 14th century.

The website states a common belief in England and France was that the beginning of the mating season for birds was on Feb. 14, adding to the notion that Valentine’s Day should be observed as a day of romance. Geoffrey Chaucer, the English Poet, was the first to reference Valentine’s Day as a day of romance in “Parliament of Foules,” a poem published in 1375.

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For those looking for Valentine’s Day options in Harlan County, the Harlan Tourism and Tourist Convention Facebook page, Visit Harlan County, has posted a list of possible activities for those looking to celebrate with a little romance. Suggestions include reserving a table at the Harlan County Beer Company with fresh flowers and candlelight provided, picking up some flowers from a local florist as a gift for your significant other, dancing at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn’s Valentine’s Dinner and Dance, visiting a Harlan County attraction as a couple, or taking advantage of the menu at one of Harlan County’s restaurants.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!