February 14th marks the official day of love. Read on to find out how this romantic holiday came to be such a flashy celebration!
This day of romance has roots in several different legends that have found their way to us through the ages. One legend goes that the Romans threw a priest named Valentine in prison for his teachings. On February 14th, Valentine was beheaded not only because he was Christian, but also because he had supposedly cured the jailer's daughter of her blindness. The night before he was executed he wrote her a farewell letter, signing it "From Your Valentine." Another legend has it that Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived about the same time as the priest Valentine. He was imprisoned because he secretly married couples against the laws of the Roman emperor. Some legends say he was burned at the stake.
21st Century Celebrations
Valentine's Day is now a day for sweethearts. It is the day that you show your friend or loved one that you care. Many people send candy to their special someone on this day because candy is sweet and so are sweethearts. Or you can send roses, the flower of love. Most people send valentines, a greeting card named after the notes that St. Valentine wrote in jail. Valentines can be sentimental, romantic and heartfelt or they can be funny and friendly. If the sender is shy, valentines can be anonymous.
Did You Know?
- Worldwide, more than 50 million roses are given on this one day alone.
- Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentine would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To "wear your heart on your sleeve" now means that it's easy for other people to know how you're feeling.
Have Your Say
How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Leave a comment and let us know!