1. The Real Saint Valentine Is Shrouded In Mystery
Though he lived within the third century AD, virtually nothing is known about this saint or the life he led. It is not even clear how many holy men named Valentine there were, or which one is honored on Valentine's Day.
Regardless, bits and items in regards to the saint have made it into the realm of legends. The consensus is that he was a priest who broke the law doing what he believed in. Some tales say he conducted marriages between soldiers and their beloveds. In Rome during that time, this was towards the law. Soldiers were not allowed to marry. When Valentine was caught, he was imprisoned and put to loss of life for defying Roman rules.
One other story also includes his imprisonment, but this time for practising his faith and refusing to worship the emperor. While in prison, he became friends with the jailer's daughter. He prayed for her, and she or he was healed of her maladies. On the evening of his execution, Valentine gave his friend a note to comfort her. It read, quite merely, "From Your Valentine."
2. Matchmaking Was An Historic Roman Tradition That Preceded Valentine's Day
Lupercalia was a festival that took place annually in historic Rome between the thirteenth and fifteenth of February. Its goal was to cleanse and protect the community. Among the festival traditions had been meant to get rid of evil spirits and bless crops.
There was additionally a matchmaking component to the festivities. Women put their names in an urn. Men picked names from the urn. The couples formed by this lottery system had been expected to remain collectively for a year. Surprisingly, many of these random matches resulted in marriages.
Centuries later, this historic celebration merged with the newer tradition of honoring Saint Valentine on February 14. The newer vacation was a lot more subdued, but a few of the festival's romantic aspects carried forward.
3. Valentine Cards Turned All The Rage In Victorian England
In the Middle Ages, noblemen wrote (or hired others to write for them) impassioned love notes to their dear ones. However it wasn't until the Victorian Era in the mid-1800s that sending valentine cards became a preferred custom.
First it was handmade cards embellished with lace and ribbon. These have been fancy cards with intricate designs that included cutouts and pop-ups. The tradition was popularized in England and made its way to the U.S. a number of decades later.
With advances in printing technology, cards started to be mass-produced. In the present day 180 million valentine cards are exchanged each year in the U.S. alone. Designs continue to evolve, however heart and floral themes remain as standard as they have been in Victorian times.
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