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The History Of Valentine’s Day

Feb 01, 2015

We’re all familiar with the hearts and candies and flowers associated with Valentine’s Day, but where did this sweetheart of a holiday originally come from?

Sweetheart Saint

Many people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day every February 14 by expressing their love through flowers, candy and cards. The holiday is actually named after a shady figure named Saint Valentine.

Who was Saint Valentine? According to one legend, he was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When the emperor at the time decided single men made better soldiers than men with wives and families, he made it illegal for all young men to marry. Valentine thought this was totally unfair, and he defied the emperor by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When the emperor found out, Valentine was sentenced to death.

Saint Valentine married soldiers in secretSaint Valentine married soldiers in secret
 

But other stories say Valentine was a guy who helped Christians escape from harsh Roman prisons where they were beaten and tortured. And to add to the confusion, some tales tell of Valentine being the person who sent the first-ever Valentine’s Card from his prison cell to a young girl who he fell in love with, signing the bottom of his note with From Your Valentine.

Fab February

Some people think we celebrate Valentine’s Day in February because that’s when Valentine himself died. But others maintain the holiday lands in February because that’s when an Ancient pagan ceremony used to be performed, and when the Christian church started coming into power, it decided to try and “Christianize” the pagan rite by creating its own feast day at the same time.

Valentine's falls on February 14th every yearValentine's falls on February 14th every year
 

British Rules

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day started to become a popular celebration during the 17th Century. By the middle of 18th Century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed greeting cards started replacing the handwritten notes because of improvements in printing technology – and because ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions at a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was generally frowned upon.

Valentine's has become a holiday for all kinds of loveValentine's has become a holiday for all kinds of love
 

Love, Inc.

Americans started exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland started selling the first mass-produced valentines in the US. Here are some more fun facts about Valentine’s Day:

  • The Greeting Card Association estimates 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year.
  • Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (No. 1 is Christmas).
  • 85% of all valentines are purchased by women.
  • Valentine’s Day is celebrated in America, Canada, Mexico, England, France and Australia.
Have Your Say

Do you send Valentines? What would you want to receive? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Does Valentine's Day Depress You?

  • Yeah, I hate Valentine's Day.
  • No. I love celebrating with my BF/GF.
  • Not really. I don't care if I don't have a BF/GF.
  • No. I always plan a fun night with my friends!

General In The Forums

Dan_and_Phil
Dan_and_Phil posted in Debating:
I think kids should get phones when they start 7th grade because they will most likely start doing after school activities by then, it doesnt even have to be a smartphone, because all they would need to do is call someone, if the kid complains about not having a smartphone, you know they are just worried about fitting in with others, or they just want the internet and games--like other kids--so if they want a smartphone they will most likely be having it out in class, at lunch, or anywhere in front of kids/adults who they are afraid of being judged by
reply about 1 hour
StarlaDance16
StarlaDance16 posted in Debating:
my thoughts also
reply about 9 hours
sweetgirlcutie6
yeah they should have
reply about 10 hours
StarlaDance16
StarlaDance16 posted in Debating:
thats true what does happenn, but. most assighnments are done during school hours in primary school.
reply about 13 hours
StarlaDance16
StarlaDance16 posted in Debating:
true @-Oracle-
reply about 13 hours