1. The Real Saint Valentine Is Shrouded In Mystery
Despite the fact that he lived in the third century AD, nearly nothing is known about this saint or the life he led. It's not even clear how many holy men named Valentine there have been, or which one is honored on Valentine's Day.
Regardless, bits and pieces about 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 carried out marriages between soldiers and their beloveds. In Rome throughout that point, this was in opposition to the law. Soldiers weren't allowed to marry. When Valentine was caught, he was imprisoned and put to death for defying Roman rules.
One other story also includes his imprisonment, however this time for practising his faith and refusing to worship the emperor. While in prison, he turned friends with the jailer's daughter. He prayed for her, and he or she was healed of her maladies. On the night of his execution, Valentine gave his friend a note to comfort her. It read, quite merely, "From Your Valentine."
2. Matchmaking Was An Historical Roman Tradition That Preceded Valentine's Day
Lupercalia was a festival that took place annually in historical Rome between the thirteenth and 15th of February. Its objective was to cleanse and protect the community. A few of the festival traditions were meant to do away with evil spirits and bless crops.
There was additionally a matchmaking part to the festivities. Women put their names in an urn. Males picked names from the urn. The couples formed by this lottery system have been anticipated to remain collectively for a year. Surprisingly, many of these random matches resulted in marriages.
Centuries later, this ancient celebration merged with the newer tradition of honoring Saint Valentine on February 14. The newer holiday was much more subdued, however some of the festival's romantic aspects carried forward.
3. Valentine Cards Became All The Rage In Victorian England
In the Middle Ages, noblemen wrote (or hired others to write for them) impassioned love notes to their pricey ones. But it wasn't until the Victorian Period in the mid-1800s that sending valentine cards grew to become a preferred custom.
First it was handmade cards embellished with lace and ribbon. These were 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. At this time 180 million valentine cards are exchanged each year in the U.S. alone. Designs proceed to evolve, but heart and floral themes stay as well-liked as they have been in Victorian times.
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