The History of Valentine's Day...a proclamation of love!
Posted February 12, 2021 from United States
Valentines Day
Valentines Day (1/1)

Valentine's Day...This holiday and observance started during the Roman Empire and ended up today as a day of celebration for professing one's love.

Get a cup or your favorite beverage, fluff a pillow, have a sit down, and get comfy. Enjoy a quick read on something that affects a lot of us, love it or not. Here it is again! Valentine's Day! 

I want to take this moment to tell you that you are loved. By whom? Yourself... above all beings that walk the face of this earth. (except your pet). So... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

The Roman Legend...

One legend is that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, deified Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.

A Christianized Pagan Festival... for Fertility and Marriage

Valentine's Day in February was an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.  The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

The Middle Ages proclaimed love...

During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing, ““For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” 


According to the Greek Archaic poets, Eros was a handsome immortal played with the emotions of Gods and men, using golden arrows to incite love and leaden ones to sow aversion. It wasn’t until the Hellenistic period that he began to be portrayed as the mischievous, chubby child he’d become on Valentine’s Day cards.

Where and Who? 

Valentine’s Day today is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Denmark, Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan,  and the Philippines. (Please forgive anyone I left out).

Why Chocolates?

By the 1840s, the notion of Valentine’s Day as a holiday to celebrate romantic love had taken over most of the English-speaking world. It was Cupid’s golden age: The Victorians adored the notion of courtly love and showered each other with elaborate cards and gifts. Into this love-crazed trend came Richard Cadbury, head of a British chocolate manufacturing family and responsible for sales at a crucial point in his company’s history. Although chocolate has been deemed an aphrodisiac, for Cadbury it was a huge business opportunity, that still flourishes today. Beyond business, chocolate was the sweet treat that was supposed to calm a lady down, and get her into "the mood". 

The Heart...

As the idea of romantic love began to take shape during that medieval period, so did the symbolism. Guido da Vigevano, a 14th-century Italian physicist, made some anatomical drawings of a heart that are very similar to the descriptions made by Aristotle. These depictions, along with the presumption that the human heart is connected with emotion and pleasure, transformed the heart shape into a symbol of medieval love. The theory goes that the heart shape first became associated with sex, and eventually, with love. Hearts became popular when the exchange of Valentines gained popularity in 17th-century England.  Besides this theory, some researchers believe that the heart shape originates from other plants such as ivy leaves, or the leaves of the water-lily. Others speculate that it was modeled according to the shape of breasts, buttocks or some other parts of the human body.

Why Flowers?

Since fertility was also associated with agriculture, flowers became the Valentine's Day gift of choice. For centuries, flowers have symbolized fertility, love, marriage, and romance.  Not to understate that flowers are the best celebration of the female anatomy. And that the giver of the flowers wants to partake in the celebration. (smiles)


Comments 8

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Feb 15
Feb 15

Hi JoMarie,

How are you? Thanks for sharing this interesting background about Valentine's Day. Hope you had a good one?! XX
Feb 15
Feb 15

Hi Jill,
It was fun creating it. I'm not sure if this was a quest for me or for everyone. But I'm happy I shared it. And glad you stopped by to enjoy it!

Jill Langhus
Feb 17
Feb 17

Hello there:-)

Great to hear. Hope you have a great, rest of your week.

Beth Lacey
Feb 15
Feb 15

This is great, Jo. I really enjoyed reading it.
Feb 15
Feb 15

Hi Beth,
So happy you enjoyed it. We take so much for granted in our world that we share with so many people. It's nice to know the origins of the things we do.

Hello, JoMarie,

You are so great at putting information together and writing it into an insightful article! You are so right about Valentine's Day being celebrated in our country. It's not a holiday here, but it's a big deal for some. Businesses are booming, too!haha. You'd be surprised how much money can be spent on this day. Thank you for sharing this info with us.
Feb 16
Feb 16

Hi Karen,
Businesses get a first quarter boost because of Valentine's Day in the USA. Capitalism and materialism are the perfect combination for creating trade and profit on a holiday. Competition and the spirit of free enterprise has become all holiday traditions, and then there's the actual meaning of the holiday as a second thought. Take care and thanks for visiting!

That's so true, dear JoMarie. Businesses advertise it in such a way that if Valentine's isn't celebrated without red roses, chocolates, wine, or other love symbols, it could be the end of the relationship. You're welcome, dear. It's always a pleasure to read from you.