Whilst Valentine’s Day is the most celebrated days of the year for romance in many parts of the world, its origins are rather mysterious and why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway?
There were no less than three Saint Valentine’s, one of whom was a priest who lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II in the third century. The emperor stated that marriages should be banned as single men made better soldiers. The priest, Valentine, disagreed and secretly performed marriages for lovers. When Emperor Cladius discovered the traitor he had Valentine beheaded.
The other story about a Saint Valentine is that he was imprisoned after helping Christian prisoners escape. He subsequently fell in love with this prison guard’s daughter and sent her a love note before his death signed, “From your Valentine”.
Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
By the Middle Ages it was popular to send notes of affections, not just between lovers, but between friends. This happened particularly in Europe in England and France.
Whilst notes and poems were sent from 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned St Valentines Day being a day for loves in his famous poem, “Parliament of Foules” in 1375.
It was around the 1700’s that Valentine’s Day was actually picked up as a day of celebrating love in England, France, Canada, the USA and Austraila.
The timing of this could be to do with the fact that in France and England they believed that the birds mating season started in mid-February.
Hand made cards, notes and small gifts were exchanged for Valentine’s Day. This was really ramped up in Victorian England which was a hugely sentimental time with lots of meanings being attached to keepsakes and gifts, such as the language of flowers, mourning brooches, and art.
Red hearts began to be incorporated into Valentine’s Day cards and gifts and this then became a mass-marketed event that we recognise today.
Valentine’s Day is the largest greetings card-sending event of the year, apart from Christmas. As any jeweller will tell you, it’s also very popular to give a gift of jewellery for Valentine’s Day.
It’s also a day that many decide to propose. According to a survey by Chillisauce, most men think that it is the most romantic day of the year to propose.
Surprising Keyword Searches On Valentine’s Day
But it can also be a very sad day for many. As reported by Vox, according to survey by a GIF search database called Tenor, of the billions of keywords searched on Valentine’s Day, the GIFS searched for around the keyword “alone” far exceeded those for love or kisses.
Maybe this doesn’t reflect as much as it initially indicates. Maybe those who are alone are more likely to be on their phone, or maybe they are fed up with seeing posts of loved-up individuals – aparently the “eye roll” GIF is most popular on this day too!
Show the Love…
Whatever the history, if you’re in a relationship, if you admire someone from afar, or even if it’s neither of these things, it’s a lovely day to show someone you care about some love. And it need not be romantic love either.
I have a friend whose parents sent her a Valentines card every year which is a lovely idea. It struck me how she continued to feel the love her parents had for her on this day, long after her father had died and the cards stopped – she said that she missed those Valentines cards so much.
Maybe its a good day to show ourselves some love, that we could treat ourselves to something we love doing or that brings us joy – it doesn’t necessarily need to cost anything.
Have a lovely one, wherever you are! ❤️