Valentine’s Day is upon us, and couples have already started looking for the best gifts for their partner and unique ways to make this day memorable for each other. It is the day of love that is important not just for couples but also for the people you care about. This is the day for expressing love to your partner and those who are important in your life. On this special occasion, let’s go back in time to learn the Valentine’s Day history and facts to know more about this unique day!
Valentine’s Day History
Valentine’s Day was believed to be named after Saint Valentine, a Roman priest during the 3rd century. Some say he was buried under the Via Flaminia, while others say he was killed by the emperor Claudius II. It is said that when the emperor outlawed marriage for young soldiers, Saint Valentine started performing secret marriage rituals, which is why he was killed. There are different versions of the story. Another one says that Saint Valentine once wrote a love letter from prison for the jailer’s daughter, as he had fallen in love with her, and signed the letter with “from your Valentine.” Saint Valentine became popular with these stories and couples worldwide started celebrating the day he died, 14th February, as Valentine’s Day. Different legends, such as the feast of Lupercalia and the mating of birds right from this day, are also linked to the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
1. Bay Leaves Ritual in Rural England
One of the unique Valentine’s Day traditions were followed by the women in rural England who would pin some bay leaves to their pillows, four on the corners and one on the center. They believed this unique ritual would bring them sweet dreams about their future husband.
2. Vinegar Valentine
In the twentieth century, in Victorian England, the ones who didn’t like a suitor would anonymously send valentine vinegar or penny dreadful to reject them.
In Chicago, over a century ago, the city post refused to deliver around 25,000 Valentine’s Day cards as these were unfriendly and rude. These were also called “vinegar valentines.”
3. Candy Hearts Started as Cough Drops
The popular Valentine’s Day candies in the shape of hearts and tiny messages started as cough drops or lozenges. Boston-based pharmacist Oliver Chase invented a machine to make small cough drops but later changed the machine to produce the candies we know today. He also changed his company name to New England Confectionary Company or Necco.
4. Cupid, a symbol of Love, is a Roman God
You must have seen a chubby cupid with angel wings and bow and arrows on Valentine’s Day, as it symbolizes love. Cupid, in roman mythology, was the son of Venus, the goddess of love, and is a roman god. He carried two arrows, one to make someone fall in love and the other to make a person hate someone.
5. People prefer Chocolates More on Valentine’s Day
The National Confectioners Association conducted a survey, and it was found that in the USA, more than 75% of both men and women prefer to receive Valentine chocolates over flowers. No wonder why there is a huge demand for chocolates, and their sales skyrocket during this romantic occasion.
6. Valentine’s Day is Not Just for People
Another interesting Valentine’s fact to note is that this occasion has not just become a day to celebrate love with your partner or friends. More than 9 million pet owners worldwide also celebrate this wonderful occasion by buying gifts for their pets.
7. Valentine’s Day Cards
The trend of sending hand-written notes and cards on Valentine’s Day became popular during the 1700s. Seeing this trend, Esther A. Howland commercialized pre-made Valentine’s Day greeting cards in the US. And she came to be known as the “Mother of American Valentine.” Today, more than a billion cards are sent to loved ones around the year.
8. Writing Letters to Juliet
One of the most romantic traditions followed in Italy during Valentine’s Day is writing letters to Juliet. Romeo and Juliet, the popular Shakespeare tragedy, took place in the city of Verona, Italy. Each year, thousands of people write letters addressed to the character, Juliet, about their heartbreak or loss of love. This old tradition started with writing notes and leaving them on Juliet’s tomb years ago. A group of volunteers called The Juliet Club responds to all the letters. The one who writes the most romantic letter receives the Cara Giulietta or Dear Juliet Award.
9. Oldest Valentine’s Day Letter
Writing notes and letters on Valentine’s Day was a tradition that followed for several years. The oldest ever Valentine’s card written was in 1477 by Margery Brews for her fiancé, John Paston. This letter has been preserved in the British Library for everyone to see.
10. Origin of Xs
Next in our fun facts for Valentine’s Day is the origin of Xs. People end notes or text messages with these letters where X means kisses and O means hugs. But they always didn’t mean the same. It is believed that X was used as a sign at the end of a letter because many people couldn’t read or write. Some people also believed that this sign meant the cross, and people would make this sign and kiss it before sending the letter. However, there is still no explanation for how O became a hug symbol.
11. Unique Valentine Traditions around the Globe
Numerous countries around the globe celebrate the day of love in several ways. In Bulgaria, people celebrate this 14th of February as “the day of winemakers.” Couples celebrate their love on this day with a glass of local wine. In Japan, women gift chocolates and notes to men on Valentine’s Day. Men then give return the gesture on White Day, which falls on the 14th of March.
12. Roses are the top choice for Valentine’s Day
Lastly, in our facts about Valentine’s Day, do you know the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of Love? She loved roses, and it’s no surprise that these flowers have become one of the top choices as Valentine flowers for partners. Red roses symbolize love and romance and they are also paired with other romantic flowers, such as carnations, baby’s breath, etc., to make the floral arrangement more special.
Those were some of the interesting Valentine’s Day fun facts and also its history. Share these unique facts with your partner or close ones, and enjoy the day to the fullest. Make sure to also find the best Valentine’s presents to make their day special. Giftalove.com is the top online gift store where you can shop for the best Valentine’s gifts and send them to your loved ones with free shipping.
Pratiksha is our in-house content writer who aims to provide quality content to her readers. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing, and learning about new things.