For hundreds of years Valentine’s Day has been celebrated by people everywhere, but why was St. Valentine, the saint most associated with romantic love, so important?
Eight hundred years before Valentine’s Day was established, a man named Claudius was in power in Rome. He felt that marriage was a bad thing because it made men poor soldiers, so he banned marriage in his empire. St. Valentine opposed this rule, so he began to secretly marry couples who came to him. Unfortunately, St. Valentine was soon caught and executed for this crime.
Over the years, celebrations of love in the name of St. Valentine have evolved in ways we wouldn’t even recognize today:
- In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
- In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.
- Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
No matter what is true and what is myth, Valentine’s Day has become big business for the flower, card, and candy companies. Send a heartfelt Valentine’s card, e-greeting, or text message to someone special in your life as a thoughtful token of your gratitude and love.
Looking to shower that special someone in abundance of love? Send a bouquet of fresh cut flowers, their favorite candies/chocolates, sporting event tickets, jewelry, spa gift certificate, or gift basket.