Feb 13, 2009

the History of Valentine's Day and that start of the Valentine's Day Card...

Every February around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Handmade valentine cards made of lace, ribbon, featuring cupid and hearts spread through America in 1850 by way of printer/artist Esther Howland, who was among the first to publish and sell Valentines in the USA.

So now the question remains, who is St Valentine?

The Catholic Church recognizes 3 different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One was a priest in Rome, one a bishop in Terni, and the third Valentine, nothing much is known of except that he met his end in Africa. All three were martyred on February 14th.

The most commonly know Valentine is that of St. Valentine who was imprisoned and fell in love with a girl, who is believed to be the his jailers daughter who visited him during his confinement. History has it the he wrote her a letter before his death which he signed, ‘From your Valentine’, an expression still used today.

Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated mid-February to commemorate the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death, about 270 A.D. Ancient Rome considered February the official beginning of spring and considered it a time of purification. Roman priest would gather in a sacred cave where infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to be cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priest would sacrifice a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. The boys then ran around town gently slapping both women and crops with goat hide. Later the women would place their names in an urn and the city’s bachelors would choose a name from the urn and become paired for the year. These matches often ended in marriage.

Approximately 85% off all valentines are purchased by women. Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France and Australia. The oldest known Valentine Card is on display at the British Museum.

1 comment:

Bagladee said...

Wow, I didn't know that....what a great post :) thanks x