Valentine’s Day isn’t just about flowers and chocolates, read on to find out a bit more about this romantic holiday.
February 14th is the day named after St Valentine. Valentine was a priest in the third century in Rome. He went against the wishes of the Emperor Claudius and married young couples. Claudius outlawed the practice of marriage as he believed that young unmarried men made better soldiers. Valentine was captured and imprisoned. While in prison Valentine encountered the jailor’s daughter who was blind. He performed a miracle and restored the young girl’s sight. Before he was to be executed he wrote a letter to her and signed it “From your Valentine”. This is believed to be the origin of the custom of sending ‘Valentines’ to one another on Valentine’s Day.
In the middle ages it was customary to send a handmade paper card to prospective sweethearts on Valentine’s Day. The day of love was romanticized by Chaucer and Shakespeare and the emergence of courtly love.
In the 1850’s Valentine’s cards were popularized by Esther Howland who began producing cards in America. In 1913 Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo. began mass producing cards and this began the commercialized Valentine’s Day we know today. Modern suitors give chocolates, cards, flowers and jewelry to their Valentine’s to celebrate this day of love.