Valentine’s day 2024 is coming soon. The day of love, with its sweet gestures and charming traditions. But did you know that behind the heart-shaped cards lies a history as intriguing as a mystery novel?
This blog post is your ticket to discover the untold tales of Valentine’s Day. From the wild parties of ancient Rome to the poetic romance of the Middle Ages. We are about to unearth the secrets that make this day more than just a celebration of love.
So, let’s journey through time, peeling back the layers to reveal the history of valentines day.
Brief History Of Valentine’s Day
Origin Of Valentine’s Day: Ancient Roman Festival of Lupercalia
Valentine’s day history isn’t very joyful. The origin of Valentine’s Day goes way back, more than 2000 years to ancient Rome. They used to have a festival called Lupercalia every year to celebrate the start of spring and fertility.
The Dark Truth About Valentines Day
This festival of candy and cupids has a dark and somewhat confusing history.
While no one is sure exactly where it came from, ancient Rome is a good place to start the Valentine’s Day story.
From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia. A fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus, as well as the city’s founders, Romulus and Remus.
The Romans had violent celebrations, according to Noel Lenski, a religious studies professor at Yale University. The festival starts with Roman priests, known as the Luperci, gathering at a special cave believed to be where the she-wolf cared for Romulus and Remus. In a ritual, the priests sacrificed a goat for fertility and a dog for purification.
Following the sacrifices, the priests tore the goat’s skin into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood, and took to the streets. There, used to whip women and crop fields with the goat hide. Surprisingly, Young women willingly lined up for men to hit them. Roman women welcomed this practice, believing it would increase their fertility in the upcoming year. During this festive occasion, the Roman romantics were described as being drunk and naked.
Additionally, the festival included a matchmaking lottery. All the young women in the city would put their names in a large container. Unmarried men would then pick a name, and that woman would become their partner for the year.
Interestingly, many of these pairs eventually ended up getting married.
Start of Saint Valentine’s Day: A Celebration of Love
The name of our modern-day love also comes from the ancient Romans.
Later on, the Catholic Church turned this pagan festival into something Christian and named it St. Valentine’s Day to honour Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr.
Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on Feb. 14 in different years during the third century. The Catholic Church honoured their martyrdom with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.
The Catholic Church knows about three saints named Valentine or Valentinus. All of them were martyrs. Which means they died for their beliefs.
Story of Saint Valentine
We’re not exactly sure who Saint Valentine was. But the most popular story connects him to a priest or bishop in Rome a long time ago.
In the third century, there was a priest named Valentine in Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that unmarried men made better soldiers, so he made a rule against young men getting married. However, Valentine didn’t agree with this unfair rule. Despite the risk, he secretly married young couples. When Claudius discovered this, he ordered Valentine to be killed.
There’s another version of the story involving Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who faced a similar fate. He was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome. Some tales suggest that Valentine might have been killed because he helped Christians escape from harsh Roman prisons where they were mistreated.
In yet another story, Valentine, while in prison, sent the first “Valentine” message. He had fallen in love with a young girl, perhaps the jailor’s daughter, who visited him. Before his death, he wrote her a letter and signed it “From your Valentine.” This expression is still used today.
While the truth about Valentine’s stories is unclear, all the tales portray him as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, likely due to this image, Valentine became recognized as a saint of love in England and France.
Evolution of Valentine’s Day in the Middle Ages
As holidays became more popular, things changed. In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I mixed up St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to get rid of pagan customs. The celebration turned into a kind of play instead of what it used to be. Christians made it more proper. However, it still stayed a day about love and fertility.”
At the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day, which meant “lover of women.” This might have been confused with St. Valentine’s Day because the names sound similar.
Season of Bird Mating
In the Middle Ages, people in France and England thought that birds started mating on February 14. This idea made people think Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.
Chaucer’s & Shakespeare’s Influence: The Romantic Turn
Over time, the holiday became sweeter.
Writers like Chaucer and Shakespeare made it more romantic in their stories, and it became popular in Britain and Europe.
William Shakespeare made Valentine’s Day more romantic in his writings, and it became famous in Britain and Europe.
The poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to write about St. Valentine’s Day as a day for love in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules.” He wrote,
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh there to choose his mate.
Start Of Written Valentine’s Greetings
People started sending Valentine’s greetings during the Middle Ages, but written Valentines only started appearing after 1400. The oldest known Valentine still around today is a poem from 1415. Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote it to his wife while he was in prison after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt. This special greeting is now in the British Library in London.
Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards Tradition
Around the 18th century in England, the tradition of exchanging romantic cards and gifts began.
People in the Middle Ages started giving handmade paper cards as tokens of affection. People made these cards by hand, adding lace and ribbons. They included love poems and affectionate messages.
The Victorians took it to the next level, making intricate cards with complex designs and messages called “valentines.”
Later, the tradition reached the New World. In the 19th century, factory-made cards became common during the Industrial Revolution. Then, in 1913, Hallmark Cards in Kansas City started making valentines on a large scale.
Since then, February has changed a lot.
11 Valentine’s Day History Facts
- Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14, and it involves the exchange of candy, flowers, and gifts between loved ones.
- The holiday’s origins are shrouded in mystery. But it combines both Christian and ancient Roman traditions.
- The Catholic Church recognizes at least 3 saints named Valentine. One legend suggests a priest defying Emperor Claudius II’s marriage ban.
- Valentine is associated with various legends, including one where he healed the jailer’s blind daughter and sent her a note signed “from your Valentine” before his execution.
- The ancient Roman fertility festival Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February. This influenced the timing of Valentine’s Day.
- Lupercalia involved priests sacrificing a goat and a dog, using the hides to slap women and crop fields for fertility.
- The festival also included a matchmaking lottery, where young men drew names of women to pair up for the year.
- Valentine’s Day became definitively associated with love in the Middle Ages, coinciding with the birds’ mating season.
- Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem in 1375 marked the day as a romantic celebration, and written Valentines started appearing after 1400.
- The oldest known Valentine, a poem from 1415, was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while imprisoned.
- In the 18th century, England saw the custom of exchanging romantic cards and gifts, leading to the modern celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day & Floriography: Language of Flowers & Love
Victorian Era: Giving Meaning to Flowers
During the time of Queen Victoria, people started giving flowers on Valentine’s Day. This was a way to show feelings and share messages of love and admiration.
They had a special way of doing this called Floriography, which is called the language of flowers.
People used certain flowers and their meanings to express emotions. For example, red roses were a sign of love and passion. While a yellow rose meant friendship and joy.
Floriography became so popular back then that they made entire dictionaries to help people understand what each flower meant. Victorian women liked this flower language. They used it to send secret messages to their special someone or to quietly tell others about their feelings.
Meaning Of Popular Valentine’s Day Flowers | 10 Romantic Flowers
Whether you’re giving flowers to a friend, loved one, or romantic interest, the bouquet you choose conveys a specific message.
1. Roses by Color and Meaning
Purity and Everlasting Love
Love at First Sight
2. Tulips: Color and Meaning
Love and Friendship
Power and Royalty
Joy and Happiness
Forgiveness and Purity
3. Lilies by Color and Meaning
Purity and Refined Beauty
Joy and Health
4. Carnations: Color and Meaning
Devotion and Affection
Purity and Friendship
Symbolizes Rejection and Disappointment
5. Hydrangeas: Colour and Meaning
Love, Romance, Emotional Connection
6. Sunflowers Meaning
Admiration, Commitment, Longevity,
Friendship, Loyalty, Joy, Happiness
7. White Daisies: Colour and Meaning
Loyalty, Sincerity, Innocence, Pure Love
8. Peonies: Color and Meaning
Happiness, Shyness, Romance, Good Fortune, Honor, Bravery
Prosperity, Good Fortune, Happiness
Love, Trust, Secret Love (Victorian times), Renewal, Clarity, Hope
10. Orchids and Their Meanings
Unity, Love, Beauty, Passion
Rare, Exotic Luxury, and Strength
How We Celebrate Valentine’s Day Now
Nowadays, people still love celebrating Valentine’s Day and using flowers to express their feelings. Flowers are still seen as a classic and considerate gift. Many people enjoy discovering the special meanings behind each type of flower.
Modern Valentine’s Day Celebrations involve people expressing love and affection in various ways. Couples often exchange cards, flowers, and gifts as a way to show their feelings. Many choose to go out for special dinners or engage in activities they enjoy together.
Social media platforms provide a space for public declarations of love, with people sharing photos and heartfelt messages.
The celebration has expanded to include not only romantic partners but also friends and family, making it a day to celebrate all types of relationships. Overall, Modern Valentine’s Day is a time for expressing love and creating special moments with loved ones.
Say ‘I Love You’ with AHH Flower’s Romantic Floral Bouquets
Valentine’s day 2024 is around the corner.
What better way to express your love than with the timeless beauty of flowers?
Our handpicked floral bouquets are curated to capture the essence of romance and convey your affection most elegantly.
Let’s explore the exquisite options available for you and the thoughtful add-ons that will make your gift even more special.
Ignite the passion with our charming Andesine bouquet. A stunning arrangement that blends soft, sweet hues to symbolize your love. Each blossom whispers sweet sentiments.
The perfect choice for a passionate Valentine’s Day gesture.
Red roses, the eternal symbol of love, take centre stage in our classic bouquet. Time-honoured and ever-charming, this arrangement speaks volumes without uttering a word.
Convey your love with the simplicity and beauty of classic red roses.
Say “happy valentines day” with our presentation box of assorted flowers. A delightful choice for those who appreciate variety.
This carefully curated mix of blooms adds a touch of whimsy, celebrating the diverse facets of your relationship. A charming way to say, “You mean everything to me.”
Radiate warmth and affection with our Ruby bouquet. A composition of rich, red flowers that evoke feelings of deep love and devotion.
Share a bouquet as unique and precious as your relationship on this special day.
Extra Special Valentine’s Day Gifts
Enrich the sweetness of your love-filled moments of valentines day with our delightful add-ons.
🍫 Light up your Valentine’s Day with a scented candle for a cozy atmosphere and delectable chocolates to sweeten the moment.
🍾 Heighten the romance with our exquisite selection of wines, featuring Veuve champagne, rich red wine, or crisp white wine.
💌 Personalize your gift with a choice of cards. Go for a complimentary card, or a special card, and add a heartfelt message to express your love in a way that’s uniquely yours.
Make this Valentine’s Day extra special with these thoughtful additions to your chosen floral bouquet.
Express Your Love with Our Valentine’s Day Flowers Delivery Perth
Make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable with AHH Flowers.
There’s no sweeter way to express ‘I love you’ and make someone’s day extraordinary.
Whether you’re aiming for a grand gesture with a lavish bunch of red roses or a subtle yet stunning posy bouquet. AHH Flowers has the perfect selection for you.
We deliver the freshest and most beautiful blooms to your Valentines in Perth.
Our Valentine’s Day flowers can be complemented with thoughtful additions like chocolates, cards, and wines. Simply pick your favourite extras when placing your order. We’ll make sure they come along with your delivery.