The History Of Valentine's Day
As soon as the Christmas trimmings are down, out come the cards, cuddly teddy bears and heart balloons for Valentine's Day, but do we really know the history behind the celebrations…
The history of Valentine’s Day actually finds its roots in ancient Rome and Victorian England, and it’s not quite the lovey-dovey tale we would have believed…
St. Valentine actually refers to several people, so you may hear several different tales of who he actually was.
We’re not really sure which St. Valentine is technically celebrated, however according to History.com. The Catholic church has records of at least three different martyrs named Valentine or Valentinus. One of them, a priest in third century Rome, defied the emperor Claudius when he decided to outlaw marriage for young men. Valentine continued performing marriage ceremonies for the lovers in secret, and Claudius had him killed for it when he found out.
Another Valentine supposedly helped Christians escape from prison and was also martyred for it. Yet another one is said to have sent the first “Valentine” letter from prison, allegedly to the jailor’s daughter. Legend has it, he signed the note, “from your Valentine,” a greeting we still use today. So whichever Saint we celebrate on the 14th February, we’d say he was kind, heroic and most importantly, believed in Love.
While people did share Valentine’s Day greetings with one another as early as the Middle Ages, written notes weren’t as popular, probably because the literacy rate wasn’t very high. The oldest known valentine that still exists today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.
Exchanging cards between lovers, family members and friends didn’t become widely popular until the 18th century. In the 1900s, improvements in printing technology made exchanging cards even easier with the advent of pre-printed cards.
If you would like to create your own card this year, why not download one from here...
Happy Valentine's Day