The History of St Valentine’s Day
The actual story of Valentine’s Day and indeed the patron saint from which the tradition heralds is cloaked in mystery. Historically February has long been celebrated as a month of love and romance and romantic vestiges have been prevalent in the Catholic church since Roman times. The link with Saint Valentine however remains unclear. The strongest story behind this annual day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is so named after a Christian martyr and dates as far back as the 5th century.
Why Valentine’s Cards?
In the UK Valentine’s Day started to be widely celebrated around the middle of the 17th Century. It had really established itself as the national day of love by around the 18th century when it became common place to exchange hand-written letters and notes between lovers and friends. The ‘Valentines Card’ as we know it only really came into being around 1900 and have been mass produced ever since. It is now estimated that 1 billion cards are sent each year (half as many as Christmas Cards).
Modern Day Valentine’s Traditions
It is believed that 85% of all Valentine’s gifts are purchased by women! (Time to up your game fellas!) The act of gifting chocolate on Valentine ’s Day originated in Japan in the 1930s when a confectionary company ran an advert targeting the day of Love. Other confectioners followed suit and by the 1950s most Japanese retailers were targeting the occasion. Flowers are another traditional Valentines gift with Red Roses being a clear favourite on the day. The history of gifting flowers around Valentine’s day stems from beliefs around fertility. The middle of February has historically been a time for fertility festival celebrations for centuries; flowers have symbolized marriage, love and romance as well as fertility.
That’s how it’s been done throughout the years, but how you make yours personal to you and your loved one is entirely up to you.
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