Valentine’s Day started as a means to “Christianize” the pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia.
Lupercalia was held in honor of Faunus the Roman god of agriculture. Part of the festival involved women placing their names into a big urn, which would then be picked out by the city’s bachelors. Each bachelor was paired with the woman whose name he retrieved. These matches often ended in marriage.
But Pope Gelasius was all NO WAY JOSÉ, and thought that it was too “un-Christian.” So it was out-lawed and Valentine’s Day was set for the middle of February in the Fifth Century as a day to remember and celebrate the martyred Saint Valentine who helped Christians escape brutal Roman prisons.
The first Valentine’s cards were sent from prison cells.
While he was imprisoned in Rome, Saint Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and wrote to her from his cell. The love note was signed, “From your Valentine,” and began the well-known tradition of having and being someone’s valentine.
The oldest known official valentine is still in existence today. It was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.
Valentine’s Day became associated with love only after people believed Feb. 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season.
During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.
More than half of all V-Day cards sent are sent in the six days prior to Valentine’s Day.
Nothing says love like the last minute.
In Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future husband.
I usually just dream about more food.
Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.
The vast number of flowers sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.
Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
Sure it’s weird, but in that crazy, romantic kind of way, which is totally fine.
Is it weirder, though, to send a valentine to the most romantic fictional character in history, than to give one to your pet? Because 3% of pet owners do.
Okay, this is actually the cutest thing ever. I don’t understand why only a measly 3% pet owners take part in it.
The oldest love poem was written in the time of the Sumerians, who created one of the first systems of writing.
Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.
Bridegroom, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey-filled,
Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Lion, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey.
Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,
Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,
My father, he will give you gifts.
You, because you love me,
Give me pray of your caresses,
My lord god, my lord protector,
My SHU-SIN, who gladdens ENLIL’s heart,
Give my pray of your caresses