The Origins of Valentine’s Day

The holiday of hearts and flowers has a beautiful airy vibe, but the origins to Valentine’s Day are a little more bloody. Below are some facts that you didn’t know about the annual holiday of love and candy.

In England as well as France The Middle Ages saw people begin to associate February 14th as the time for mating birds. Chaucer did not link Valentine’s Day to romance until the 14th century.


If Valentine’s Day conjures up visions of romantic pink hearts, romantic red roses, and arrow-firing diaper-clad cupids, you may be surprised to learn that this holiday has pretty deep, dark root. As per the Boston Globe The 14th of February was originally the pagan fertility festival known as Lupercalia that took place from february. 13-15 every year in early Rome. It was a ritual of fertility the priests from the order of Luperci sacrificed dogs and a goat for skin and beating women using their hides. Women’s names were extracted from an urn before being paired up throughout the festival (which may end with weddings).

The legend goes that, after Saint. Valentine converted to Christianity the following year, he refused to follow the Emperor Claudius his prohibition on soldiers marriage and instead, he performed weddings for the men he served with. When the emperor discovered this, he sentenced saint Valentine to death. In the days before his death the saint wrote a letter addressed to the woman Valentina who signed the letter “from your Valentine.” In honor of early Christian martyrs, this holiday has been named after Saint Valentine.

The late 1800s saw the event was popular in Britain as well as America. From 1913 on, Hallmark Cards in Kansas City started to mass produce printed Valentine’s Day cards. The Industrial Revolution made them the latest “it” item.

More than a million Valentine’s Day cards are handed out every year. Most of these are accompanied by gifts of chocolates or flowers. This day can also be marked by other treats like heart-shaped chocolates, cookies designs and sweets. Doctors once advised love-struck patients to eat chocolate in order to improve their mood.

Valentine’s Day’s past isn’t clear there are many theories about its origin. However however, there’s no doubt what was originally a pagan blood festival has become the most beautiful day of the year for romance.


Prior to the time that Valentine’s Day became the greeting day that is now a frenzied celebration of cards there was the day to show romance. Bill Nelson of KQED says that the holiday was about exchange of personal tokens. The gestures included written notes as well as made-to-order cards, which were shared between friends, acquaintances and loved ones. Esther A. Howland, known as the “Mother of Valentines,” is credited as the person who mass produced the first commercially produced cards in America in the early 1700s. In the present, an estimated 145 million card are being sent every year. This makes it the second most requested card-sending occasion behind Christmas.

In the Middle Ages, the celebration of Valentine’s Day evolved into a romantic day. It could have happened because of the popular romance poet Geoffrey Chaucer. According to The Times explains, Chaucer created poems, such as”the “Parliament Of Fowls” as well as”Complaint of Mars, “Complaint of Mars” that referred to how birds decide on their companions on the 14th of February. In the 14th century, it was believed that if someone you knew on Valentine’s Day, they could be your true mate.

There’s evidence suggesting that the medieval church may try to Christianize the pagan festival of Lupercalia. In reality, it’s probable that two individuals called Valentine were martyred in February. 14 of different times in the third century. Then, their funerals were celebrated by the Catholic church.

Another theory is that the word Valentine’s Day grew out of an old Roman festival called Lupercalia, which was held between February and the middle of February. It was a pagan festival that was characterized by women mixing with males as well as sacrifices. The festival was famous for an ancient tradition of tracing names out of an Urn to allow bachelors to pick their own valentines. Those who were chosen would become betrothed throughout the event.

It is believed that the festival was combined along with St. Read more>> by the medieval church to make it more Christian. This holiday was a celebration of courtly love between husband and wife, or lovers. From the 18th century onwards, the people who were part of the emerging middle class began giving each other gifts like sweets and flowers to commemorate this holiday. This was done to cope with the conflict between romantic ideals of love and the reality of marriage.

Mass Produced Cards

When we consider Valentine’s Day, most of us picture a beautiful bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates and maybe even a special someone. The holiday hasn’t ever been all romantic.

In fact, it’s possible that romance wasn’t even one of the reasons for this holiday. There are many who believe that the holiday began on the 14th of February to honor a Christian saint called Valentinus. The specific identity of the saint is murky. In reality, according to many legends, he was a priest imprisoned who refused to obey the commands of the Roman Emperor, as well as secretly marrying couples in the confinement. The Emperor was notified of this and ordered the death of the priest February 14. In the days before his death is believed that he composed notes to family members and friends that read “from your Valentine”.

Many historians believe that this holiday originated in February, to celebrate a fertility festival associated with the pagan religion called Lupercalia. The festival takes place between 13th-15th of each year. The Lupercalia festival was an raucous celebration that was fueled by wine and included traditions like the sacrifice of animals, and hitting women on the head with hides of animals to ensure a good harvest. In the course of time, as Roman Empire became less pagan and became more Christian as well, Pope Gelasius moved the emphasis of the feast on honoring St. Valentine.

During the 1700s, people began exchanging small tokens of affection in the kind of notes made by hand or hand-made cards. Through the 1800s, printing technologies became more affordable and made it possible to create Valentines. They rapidly gained popularity. The 1900s saw it was common for people of all social classes to share valentines sporting illustrations of Cupid and hearts.

In the early 20th century, Valentine’s Day became a commercial hit. People began using it for advertising anything from books to chocolate. Around this moment that Hallmark began producing Valentine’s Day cards in massive quantities and advertising their products to elementary school children. The popularity of the valentines increased when students began battling to get the most valentines from their classmates. Though this wasn’t originally the goal, the majority of people now consider Valentine’s Day in the same in the same way.

Vinegar Valentines

As hopeless romantics scrawled syrupy sonnets on delicate Valentine’s Day cards in the 1840s, a brand new kind of Valentine’s Day greeting card began appearing. These cards with a risible message, known as vinegar Valentines by some used humor and grotesque images to disguise an offensive message of affection.

You could send them an email to your employer, neighbour or teacher, and also to an unwelcome suitor. It was common for them to be private, which allowed the person sending them to speak about something they wouldn’t dare say in personal, and only pay an amount for delivery.

The cards were a shock to Victorian society. As recipients tried to guess who was the person behind the card the newspapers covered a variety of fights. Another example is that of husbands shot wives with a revolver around the neck, after receiving an email stating that she was a floozy spinster.

A lot of these hateful comments were directed towards people from the lower class. In the past, the genteel middle class had taken on the right to be able to communicate. However, some people abused this freedom to make life painful for the people who weren’t part of their group.

Many of the vinegar Valentines targeted their messages at those who opposed changing. This may have reflected the changing attitudes toward women in the suffragist movement of that time, as they believed in equal rights for women. Cards could have criticised women with “no sense of proportion” or were “more interested in enjoying themselves” rather than taking care of the children or spouses.

Even though they’re dubbed “vinegar” Valentine’s Day, these cards actually were quite and popular. in the 19th century both America as well as England became enthralled in Valentine’s Day and bought millions of sour and sweet cards. They eventually fell out of fashion partially because they proved expensive to ship and create. Many recipients felt the need to look at the cards, and they were disappointed by the message. You can find cards today in which you criticize your ex-partner using many different creative strategies. El Paso Zoo asks, for example, that those who hate create a Cockroach named after their ex, and then give it food to Meerkats.

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