Valentines Day History

February 14th is recognised by many people throughout the word, particularly Christians as Saint Valentines Day. But do you know anything about Valentines Day history? What are the origins of this special day? And how did this tradition become a part of our lives.

Traditionally, Valentines Day is the day when people send cards and gifts to the ones they love, especially their romantic partners (and even hoped-for partners) expressing their love and affection for that person.

More recently, Valentines Day has expanded, particularly in the US, to include not just lovers but also special friends. Cards for friends tend to express friendly affection and appreciation of the recipient’s friendship. This can be seen by the fact that many Valentines card these days are general greeting cards rather than declarations of love.

But why do we exchange cards and gifts at all? Let’s look at a little Valentines Day history.

Who was Saint Valentine? There were many Christian martyrs named Valentine but time has reduced their stories to one and embellished that with the tale that Saint Valentine himself sent the first “valentine.” According to this story, the night before he was executed her send a note to the jailer’s daughter whom he had healed of blindness. On this note he wrote, “From your Valentine.”

Another school of thought suggests a different Valentines Day history. It argues that Saint Valentines Day started as a Christian substitute for a pagan (i.e. pre-Christian) fertility celebration that occurred annually in mid-February.

So there we have it – like many legends, a mixture of fact and fiction that led by the Middle Ages to the establishment of Valentines Day and the sending of hand-written love notes.

Valentines Day had secured its place in history and by the nineteenth century, commercial Valentine cards began to appear. These typically featured images of love hearts, cupid and doves.

It has been estimated that at least one BILLION Valentine cards are sent each year, making this day second only to Christmas.

This, of course, makes Valentines Day very profitable for the major card-makers but with a little time and imaginations, you can make more unique and personal cards for the special people in your life and create a little Valentines Day history yourself!

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