February 14th… The day when love is in the air and life is good.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year and it is more than just a Hallmark holiday. But do you know where Valentine’s day came from? Why is it celebrated on 14th February? What is Valentine’s symbol? How it became so popular? Was it always about love and good feelings?
From its bloody origins to its sweet, chocolaty modern day traditions, there are few interesting facts you didn’t know about Valentine’s Day.
How did Valentine’s Day begin?
Valentine’s Day started with the Romans
There are two theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. The first is that
The ancient Roman festival Lupercalia (“festival of the wolf”) is considered to be one precursor to Valentine’s Day. Celebrated from February 13-15, it was a purification and fertility ceremony. Reminiscent of the modern-day exchange of love notes on Valentine’s Day, boys would draw a girl’s name from a box on the eve of the festival and then escort her to the festival the next day or, some scholars say, she would be his sexual partner for the next year. The festival survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St Valentine’s Day.
The second most popular theory about Valentine’s Day origin is that Emperor Claudius II didn’t want Roman men to marry during wartime, in fact, Claudius had banned marriage because he thought it distracted young soldiers. In the spirit of love, Saint Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14.
Why Valentine’s Day Celebrated On 14th February?
Few beliefs derive from this particular month and date,
#During the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia (an ancient precursor to Valentine’s Day), two boys would run through crowds of people swinging strings made from goatskins. If the strings touched a girl, it was divined that she would have healthy children when she grew up. The goatskins were called februa, which means to make clean and from which “February” derives.
#The popular medieval folk belief that birds choose their mates on February 14 made doves a favorite symbol for Valentine cards. The dove was sacred to Venus and other love deities and was known for choosing a lifelong mate.
#Some believe that Valentine’s Day’s is celebrated mid-February to mark the anniversary of St Valentine’s death.
Which country first introduced Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day was first introduced to Japan in 1936 and has become widely popular. However, because of a translation error made by a chocolate company, only women buy Valentine chocolates for their spouses, boyfriends, or friends. In fact, it is the only day of the year many single women will reveal their crush on a man by giving him chocolate. The men don’t return the favor until White Day, a type of “answer day” to Valentine’s Day, which is on March
What is Valentine’s Symbol?
Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
What the red heart symbolize?
Red hearts are a ubiquitous Valentine symbol. Red is traditionally associated with the color of blood. At one time, people thought that the heart, which pumps blood, was the part of the body that felt love. In fact, when the Egyptians mummified their dead for burial, they removed every organ but the heart because they believed the heart was the only part of the body necessary for the trip through eternity.
Who is Cupid?
A common symbol of Valentine’s Day is Cupid. Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, affection, and attraction. He is the son of Venus, goddess of love, and war god Mars. Cupid in Latin is ‘amor’, which means love. He was originally depicted as a young man who would sharpen his arrows on a grindstone whetted with blood from an infant, though now he is commonly presented as a pudgy baby. This transformation occurred during the Victorian era when business owners wanted to promote Valentine’s Day as more suitable for women and children.
Why we exchange Valentines Day Cards?
One theory is that when Valentine went to prison he sent a girl he had fallen in love with a card saying “Your Valentine,” and some claim this is the inspiration behind it.
Valentines Day greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages where prospective lovers sang their romantic verses or poems to their loved ones. It wasn’t until 1400 when Valentines began to appear on paper, the first one is currently in the British Museum.
The first Valentines Day Card is thought to have been sent from Charles the Duke of Orleans in 1415 and was addressed to his wife. He sent the love note whilst imprisoned in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt, just wanting to say his good lady how much he missed her.
In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.
Few amazing facts about Valentine’s day
#A kiss on Valentine’s Day is considered to bring good luck all year.
Valentine`s Day became more and more popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in England and then in America. Cards and letters were exchanged among friends and relatives on that day.
It is estimated that 15% of the women in the United States who receive flowers for Valentine’s day send them to themselves. There are no figures that tell how many of these women are married, single or in a relationship.
More than 9 million pet owners buy gifts for their pets for Valentine’s day. Now that is what can be called real puppy love.
Teachers receive more Valentine cards than anyone else, even children. Americans exchange over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards each year!
More than 650 million valentine cards are exchanged by children from ages 6-10 each year. Most of these cards are bought in the last 6 days leading up to Valentine’s day.
#True Love Knot
A True Love Knot, or Endless Knot of Love, was a very popular Valentine in England and the U.S. in the seventeenth century. As their name implies, these Valentines were drawn as a knot and could be read from any line and still make sense.
#Valentine`s Day candy dates to the 19th century, when doctors would prescribe chocolate to soothe people`s nerves and calm emotions.
#More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day. The chocolate box has been around for more than 140 years. The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.
#Ribbon & Lace
The symbol of the ribbon, which often adorns modern-day Valentines, is rooted in the Middle Ages. When knights competed in tournaments, their sweethearts often gave them ribbons for good luck.
Lace is often used on Valentine decorations. The word “lace” comes from the Latin laques, meaning “to snare or net,” as in to catch a person’s heart.
It was once believed that if a woman saw a flying robin on Valentine’s day she would end up getting married to a sailor. If a sparrow was the bird she saw she would end up marrying a man that was poor and live a happy life, if she saw a goldfinch then she was to marry a man that was a millionaire. One can only wonder who she would marry if she saw a crow.
It is believed that a mount Holyoke college student by the name of Ester Howland created the first lace valentine in the United States from lace, ribbon and colorful pictures. She has become known as the Mother of the Valentine.
If you’re single don’t despair. You can celebrate Singles Awareness Day (SAD) instead. Meant as an alternative to Valentine’s Day, the holiday is for single people to celebrate or to commiserate in their single status.
#On February 14, Finland celebrates Ystavanpaiva which is translated as ‘Friends Day’. Forget the romantic undertones – gifts and cards are given and received but by friends rather than lovers. We think it’s a great way to involve everyone.
#73 percent of people who buy flowers on this day are men, while only 27 percent are women. A massive 85% of all gifts for Valentine’s Day are bought by women
#The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings.
#Every Valentine’s Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
#220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.
#The condom company Durex reports that condom sales are 20-30% higher around Valentine’s Day.
#Today, Valentine`s Day is the second-largest card-sending holiday each year. Approximately one billion Valentine cards are sent every year, of which women send the majority. Valentine`s Day candy is also very popular. Each year, eight billion candy hearts are made. Every year, 10 new sayings are created for the hearts as well.