History of Valentine’s Day

| February 1, 2008 | 0 Comments

Valentines_day_graphic

Many critics of this holiday would have you believe that this holiday was invented by the greeting card companies. That commercialism is how this holiday formed. But that just isn’t so. Yes, in present time Valentine’s Day is a highly commercialized holiday, ranking as the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. But does anyone really know the history behind Valentine’s Day? Well, here’s a little synopsis to ease your cynical mind:

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th (duh!). It is the day in which lovers express their love for one another traditionally by the giving of candy, flowers and other gifts. It is named after two early Christian martyrs named Valentine; Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.

The day itself wasn’t actually linked as a romantic holiday until Geoffrey Chaucer in the middle ages.  Chaucer wrote a poem in honor of the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.  The poem goes like this:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day

 

Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese

 

[choose] his make [mate].

 

And thus Valentine’s Day became associated with the desire to find one’s mate (i.e. the Lovers holiday). One can only imagine customs that made it what it is today; finding one’s mate, proving ones love, showing ones love, gifts for your love, etc. So while the greeting card and jewelry businesses thrive around February, the actual day has history & meaning.

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Category: Holidays

About Erica Campbell Byrum: Director of Social Media @HomesDotCom & @AptsForRent. Jock. Newlywed. Wine Lover. Industry Speaker. Tech Geek.

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