How Valentine’s Day Started

We all know that the 14th of February is the day on which we celebrate Valentine’s Day.  It’s known as the day of love and couples everywhere rush out to buy fresh flowers, chocolates and all sorts of other romantic gifts for their partner.  While some people are perfectly happy sending Valentine’s Day flowers with their name attached, others prefer to send anonymous gifts instead.  This is particularly the case when you have not yet plucked up the courage to ask the object of your affections out on a date yet.  Now, all of these little Valentine’s Day facts are well-known but what about the history of this special day?  How did it all begin?

Originally, Saint Valentine’s Day was marked on the Roman Calendar of Saints.  The day was named after Valentine, a Christian martyr.  It was Pope Gelasius who added this day to the calendar in 496 AD but, in 1969, Pope Paul VI had the day removed.  The removal of this day from the Calendar of Saints was due to the apparent lack of evidence surrounding the events of this time.  The only thing they knew for sure was that a Saint Valentine was buried on the 14th of February.

As the years past, a number of works of art were created to represent Valentine’s Day.  These art forms included poems, paintings and other written works.  Today, although they might not be directly associated with Valentine’s Day, there are countless romantic poems and works suitable for such a romantic occasion.  During the 1800s, the first Valentine’s Day cards were printed and it wasn’t long before these cards were highly sought after gifts.  With increased demand came mass production and we can see this in full effect today.

As for sending flowers for Valentine’s Day, this tradition could date back further than most of us even realise.  Rome is commonly associated with various old traditions and celebration so it should not surprise you to hear that they held an annual festival in the middle of February to celebrate love and fertility.  Flowers are often associated with new life and fertility in a number of ancient and modern cultures.  Because of the mythology that surrounds the red rose, it is understandable that this would be the number one choice for Valentine’s Day.  It is also significant that Venus, the Roman goddess of love, is Cupid’s mother!

Just like many old traditions, Valentine’s Day has grown and taken shape over time.  Florists all over the world admit that this is one of the busiest days of the year for them and both men and women place orders for romantic bouquets and gifts.  Men usually buy flowers for their partner while women tend to spoil themselves with a luxurious arrangement.