Fun Facts about Valentine’s Day you probably don’t know

I remember that in my country (Greece) Valentine’s Day entered in our lives during the mid of 70’s. At the time I was about 14 years old.

It was a fascinating experience as we haven’t ever heard about a Saint called Valentine. The years passed and 14th of February become a must.

Searching a little bit about St. Valentine’s Day I found some interesting facts you probably didn’t know.

According to the 14th of February was a Pagan Festival called Lupercalia which was dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

They say that the Catholic Church was trying to “Christianize” this Pagan Festival around A.D 270. Later though this day was outcasted from Christianity as a pagan holiday until the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.

Who was St.Valentine?

This question remains un-answered till this day as the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.

Some other oral traditions suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. According to these stories, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” letter himself after he fell in love with a young girl—possibly his jailor’s daughter—who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that we still use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is unclear, the stories passed to us, all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and—most importantly—romantic figure. That was enough for St. Valentines Day to gain popularity during the Middle Ages.

Even though Valentine’s Day was gaining popularity it was far later that we start seeing this mass appealing and the commercialization of this day.

In 1861 Richard Cadbury created the first heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

In 1840 Esther Howland was the first to mass produce Valentine’s Day Cards. Until then it was a custom lovers to exchange letters expressing their feelings.

During the 17th Century King Charles II of Sweden was the first who was introduced to the idea that flowers carry a significant meaning. Therefore, a combination of different flowers can express different feelings. He brought this idea to Europe which gained popularity during the Victorian Era.

Do you think that Anti- Valentine’s it’s a modern idea? Think again! Hostile Anti – Valentine Cards were sent to a partner which was not fitting the bill, or to discourage an admirer during the Victorian Era.

The “Vinegar Valentines” was equally popular those days. They were sent out in numbers to intimidating persons, like landlords, sales persons, bosses and literally everyone who was annoying or absurd.

Suffragettes’ movement which was gaining popularity at the time was often the target of “vinegar valentines”.

Even though Valentine’s Day started as a Pagan Festival it gained massive popularity during the Victoria Era. It’s said that postmen were given an extra meal allowance during this day as the load of work (delivering cards) was almost unbearable.

What was the most surprising fact you found in this article about Valentine’s Day?

P.S Check out my previous article about “How to Beat Stress on Valentine’s Day” and check out the Audio Book I am offering of “How to Revive the Romance in your marriage”

Also feel more then welcome to download the Free Valentine’s stickers I am offering. It’s a great addition to all of your planners, journals, scrapbooking and decoupage projects.