There are many theories behind how Valentine’s Day started. However, the most popular theory comes form the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II in 270 A.D.
Basically Claudius did not want to marry during the war because he believed that single men made better soldiers. However, Bishop Valentine did not subscribe to this and went against Claudius’ wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For his work he was jailed and then executed on February 14th. When he was in jail he wrote a love letter to the jailor’s daughter signing it ‘From your Valentine’. And so the Valentine’s story began.
Some interesting facts…
- Many people believe that the X symbol was synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. Often people who could not write or sign their names would write an X. The X was then kissed to show their genuineness.
- During medieval times at weird foods on Valentine’s Day. This was to help them dream of their future partner.
- During the Middle Ages men and women actually drew names from a bowl so they could discover who their Valentine would be. They would pin the name picked from the bowl on to their sleeve for a week so everyone could see. This action is actually where the expression ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve’ comes from.
- It wasn’t until 1537 that Henry VII officially declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day.
- So where does chocolate come into the Valentine’s tradition?
- Casanova who was well known as the ‘world’s greatest lover’ ate chocolate to make him virile.
- Physicians of the 1800s often advised patients to eat chocolate to help with a lost love.
- Richard Cadbury produced the very first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
So what about Roses?
The red rose was the favourite flower of Venue, the goddess of love but the colour itself has strong romantic connotations.
There are many other facts about Valentine’s Day but perhaps the best thing is to simply enjoy the day for what it is. Pamper and be pampered on Valentine’s Day and enjoy a great time!