The History of Valentines Day

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The history of Valentines Day can be traced back to St. Valentine of Terni. Here are some myths and legends about this day. It may also have its roots in the martyrdom of two men named Valentine. Claudius II executed both on February 14. The Catholic Church may have commemorated the martyrs by establishing St. Valentine's Day. Another theory states that the day commemorates Saint Valentine of Terni, who secretly officiated weddings for Roman soldiers and became the patron saint of love.

St. Valentine of Terni

Although the history of Valentine's Day is somewhat murky, there are several possible origins. Some attribute it to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which took place on February 15 and involved fertility ceremonies and the pairing of men and women by lottery. Another theory is that St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop from southern Italy, was an early proponent of love and was killed on February 14 by Emperor Claudius II.

The first written record of Valentine's life is found in the second-century A.D., where he was buried near the current Basilica of St. Valentine. In the sixth century, the Goths destroyed the basilica, but it was rebuilt afterward. In the early 7th century, the Basilica of St. Valentine of Terni became the patron saint of the Italian region.


Origins of Valentine's Day include the Christian priest St. Valentine, who is the patron saint of lovers. The day is associated with love in the Middle Ages. Valentine's Day originated from the belief that birds began mating season on February 14. It also has roots in Greek mythology, including the stories of Cupid. This history helps explain why today is celebrated as the day of love. If you're not sure how to celebrate Valentine's Day, read on to learn more about its origins.

While the Christian saint Valentine is the main influence on the day, the origins of Valentine's Day aren't clear. The holiday may have originated from the Roman festival Lupercalia, which occurred in February. During this festival, men would sacrifice dogs and goats and then whip young maidens with the hides to make them fertile. The festival also involved a matchmaking lottery, where men would draw names from a jar and pair them with women to promote fertility.


Legends of Valentine's Day go back to ancient Rome, where the holiday was first celebrated around 270 AD. A priest named Valentine, during a time of war, continued to marry, but ended up in jail. Then, on February 14th, he wrote a letter to his jailor's daughter. He was executed later that day, but the tradition of sending love notes still endures today. Today, about eight billion candy hearts are produced annually to celebrate Valentine's Day. King Henry VIII made February 14th an official holiday in 1537.

The first valentine greeting was sent by an imprisoned Valentine. It was a way of showing his love for a young girl who visited him. Valentine was eventually thrown into jail when Claudius learned of his secret marriages. He is also remembered as the patron saint of love and a patron saint of lovers. Historically, there are several legends about Valentine. In addition to the legends of his life and death, the day is associated with two men.


Throughout history, the traditions of sending flowers and cards on Valentine's Day have evolved into a worldwide event. The idea of sending flowers and cards was first popularized in England during the Victorian Era. The tradition was later adopted in the United States, where the idea began with the birth of the greeting card company and its founder, Ester Howland. Howland used the sentiments of employees of the stationery company to produce cards in mass quantities.

The Romans celebrated this holiday as Lupercalia, which was known as the "day of purification." Priests would sacrifice dogs and goats, dab their foreheads with the blood, and then run around the hill naked, striking women with animal hides. This practice was believed to ensure fertility and was closely linked to Valentine's Day. Today, it is celebrated by lovers and couples around the world. However, the origins of Valentine's Day aren't clear.

New England Valentine Company

The New England valentine company was started in 1840 by Esther Howland, a local woman who was a student at Harvard University. Her father, Jotham Taft, was an English immigrant who had recently moved to Massachusetts. Howland began producing cards for her customers from her home, but the business was booming, and she made $100,000 in sales a year before selling out to George C. Whitney. The New England Valentine Company continued to grow and expanded into Christmas and birthday cards.

The earliest American valentines were produced by Esther Howland. Born in 1828, she was the daughter of a stationer in Worcester. She studied at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and graduated in 1847. After a valentine she received from a friend, Esther began making her own valentines. She convinced her father to buy the supplies to produce them and even persuaded him to send them abroad to her friends. By 1851, she was producing nearly a hundred Valentines each year.

June 07, 2022
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