The general belief that prevails today is that Valentine's Day is a sales day for the stores and merchants. It is expected that you will buy gifts for your loved one, with love declarations on great cards. This day has to do with love, and our ancestors marked it, and have done so as far as the sources go back.
This celebration can also be traced back to the pagan Romans, and they dedicated this day to the goddess Juno. She corresponds to the Norse Frigg / Frøya / Saga, and the Greek Hera. This is precisely why this day falls in the Norse tradition of the month Søkkvabekr (descending / deep river, home to the goddess Sága). The month is also called Þorri (Fertilizer Month), with the zodiac sign Vatnkarl (Aquarius). Saga is Odin's wife, and is equivalent to Frøya in this connection. Saga represents the more physical love and fertility attributes in this relationship.
The day was an original festival for kin, family, friendship and love. It was, like the festivals in the spring in general, dedicated to the light and its return. Therefore, the “all hearts day” was also dedicated to the god Váli (Våle) ("the vengeance", "the chosen one", “he who returns”). Váli is equivalent to Balder; he is Odin's son, Balder, Hod and Thor's brother. It is he who avenges Balder's death by killing Hod in our mythology. Váli is often depicted with his luminous arrows he shoots with a bow, and he is our Norse version of the Greek Eros, with his "arrows of Amor".
Allrahjartudagr is the day when the birds start to mate again, after the winter. In our original tradition, the birds represent the spirits (elves) of our ancestors, and precisely birds are symbolic manifestations of this. They are messengers, just like Hugin and Munin in our mythology.
Outside your window, at this point, the crows may soon have completed their nest, and the eggs will soon be laid. These are incubated over Vârjafndøgri (Spring Equinox) and Austr (Easter). It is not without reason that eggs are one of the main symbols of the spring festivals.
"Wotans Farewell to Brunhilde"
It is spring in our nature, but mythological Balder is still in Hel. In our mythology we can read that Odin's son and Balder's brother, Hermod ("army", "courage", "messenger of the gods"), who was the only one who dared to ride on Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipner ("slippery / slippery steps" , "your soul slipping out of your physical body"), and asking Hel for Balder's return. Hel accepted, but only "... if the whole world is crying for Balder". The month we are in is called Søkkvabekr - because out in the wild, everyone will cry for Balder. Spring will come, winter will melt and the tears of nature flow into deep streams. In this way, the goddess Saga is also related to the month, and nature's "birth". She represents women, marriage and the physical birth. Odin represents the spirit / the metaphysical and Saga the body / the physical, which bind man, wife and reproduction together. In the same way that Völuspá, in poetic and personalized terms, tells that Odin breathes the spirit and life force into the physical body, the two tree trunks, such as Ask and Embla.
The following month, after the "redemption" is logical, and not surprisingly, the month of þrúðheimr (Thor's month, "the world of strength"), also called Gói - and is precisely the month of women.
Originally, Allrahjartudagr was the official day for the start of spring. A fertility celebration dedicated to Thor (Odin's son, Váli and Balder's brother, the god of agriculture) is said to have escalated the following day, and before entering his month of þrúðheimr.
During these spring rituals, a "love lottery" between bachelors and maidens was arranged. Weddings (bridal races) were arranged. This was a competition where the men competed in many different sports and knowledge games, and the girls competed in traditional knowledge and health competitions, hence the word "bridal race" (brúðlaup). Such sports competitions were very common in the Norse tradition, and the winners are the typical symbolic May Queen and May King. These were symbolically the months Frøy and Frøya (herren/frau, ancestors).
They became the very symbol of husband, wife, marriage, love and fertility. The pagan symbolic marriages our myths always contain need no further embroidery.
A typical "Maibaum" (Maypole) in Germany. The tradition of this pole, which still adorns squares and gatherings, stems from the pagan traditions of the May King and queen, which we find in all the Germanic areas.
The winners of the contests did not need to get married or become a couple, but the action seems to have been of symbolic importance.
It was probably common for a couple (May King and Queen) to become candidates to take over the positions of the sitting King and Queen (chief couple) after the tribe / people democratically chose them at the assembly (Ting).
This usually meant that the couple outclassed the sitting King and Queen in knowledge, wisdom, strength and health. Through these sports, the tribe also ensured that the chief couple had democratic support and ability. If the challengers did not manage to outcompete, the King and Queen were seated for a new year. With this, the tribe also ensured that the chief couple was not seated forever, or that other tribal members were better suited to hold the positions, both symbolically and practically. Like our own Ashlad (Askeladden) in our fairytales, from the grass root, who wins princesses and kingdoms – our folk tales are also strongly linked to this Germanic practice. They tell about righteous, moral and honest challengers, winning their honor and luck.
Hugin og Munin
In our mythology we can read about Idun, who gives apples to the gods so that they can stay young, strong and healthy. The original roots of the Olympic Games are these pagan rites, where the May Queen and May King received apples and laurel wreaths, respectively. Ancient Greece was no exception here either. The eternal young "gods", in this case, are nothing but our honorable ancestors themselves, as annual challengers, who forever reincarnate the incumbent leaders, and remain eternally young, healthy, fit and strong.
In the Norse communities, an authentic democracy was ensured, where always the most knowledgeable and strong were elected leaders after proving themselves worthy. Just like the gods in our mythology, they remained eternally young. They were replaced before they expired. This democracy and the foundation are probably many thousands of years old in Norway. Eidsivating, Frostating and Gulating, which carry the the same names today, were democratic assemblies for our ancestors long before our time calculation. They are said to be the oldest "parliaments" in the world.
The Christian attempts at consolidation of power did not endure this practice. Medieval recorded saga literature is full of conflicts and disputes related to the King's power and Rome's attempt to centralize power in our decentralized lands, with millennial traditions of direct tribal rule on Tings. Therefore, Allrahjartudagr was also corrupted after the forced Christianization, where the day was dedicated to one or more Christian saints named Valentin and Valentius. The day was eventually added to the romantic aspect of the Christian side as well, including the story of St. Valentin, who was imprisoned and wrote his famous letter to his Julia, before he was allegedly executed.
Allrahjartudagr is a European pagan celebration for love, man, woman, marriage, ancestry, friendship and that all of nature is about to come out of winter darkness. It pre-dates the Roman Empire, Emperor Valentin, St. Valentin, Abraham in the desert - and thereby also Christianity, Judaism and Islam with all their monotheistic sects.
Allrahjartudagr is constructed by Proto-Nordic.AlþrurhertudagaR. Today it is always celebrated on February 14th. In pagan times, this day most likely also fell according to the full moon cycle.