History of St. Valentine's Day

Topics: Valentine's Day, Love, Greeting card Pages: 7 (2209 words) Published: September 20, 2010
History of St. Valentine's Day


• Saint Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day) is an annual commemoration (celebration) held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.

• The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs(s somebody who suffers death for the people) named Valentine.

• It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery (CANDY) (is the set of food items that are rich in sugar), and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").

• Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid (winged boy). Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. 

• By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

• According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.).

• Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

• The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colourful pictures known as "scrap."

Who was valentine?

The Saint Valentine that appears in various martyrologies in connection with February 14 is described either as:

▪ A priest in Rome,
▪ A bishop, or A martyr in the Roman province of Africa. History:
(And coming to St .valentine day was supposedly started in the time of the Roman Empire. In Ancient Rome, the date of February 14 was a holiday to honour the Queen of Roman Goddesses and Gods, Juno. Juno was known as the Goddess of women and marriage. The next day February 15 was the first day of the Festival known as the Feast of Lupercia.) ▪ On February 14 is was said that the young boys and girls of the villages would write down the names of every girl and place these names in a jar of which each young man would have to draw a name of a girl and this particular maiden would be their partner for the duration of the festival. Sometimes these parings would last a year and end up in marriage. ▪ These rituals under the laws of Claudius were banned as the Emperor believed that the reasons why men would now go to war were because they did not want to leave their lovers or families. ▪  As a result all marriages and engagements were cancelled as a result Saint Valentine a Roman priest was said to have married these couples in secret and for this he was executed on the 14th day of February. ▪ While St Valentine was in jail it is said that he fell in love with the jailers’ daughter. By a miracle or some say by the prayers of Valentine she gained her sight and as a last farewell in a note he was to "From Your Valentine". ▪ Another story as to the origins of Valentine's Day was that he was a priest who was also a physician and would cure the sick. ▪ He was also said to have tried to cure the jailers blind daughter, but, was arrested and on the day of his execution he wrote a note as a final farewell saying "From your Valentine" which some say is what caused her to gain her sight. ▪ It is also said while he...
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