Valentine’s Day for the year has finally arrived. Thousands of Americans and others will begin lining up for buying chocolates, strawberries, and whatnot for their beloved.
But before we can even get into the mood to celebrate the ultimate festival of Love, how about learning a few things about Valentine’s Day facts that you never knew? Is this just a huge meaningless celebration created by the Corporate world to make money at the cost of millions of gullible love-lorn hapless guys and girls?
Well, not exactly. Want to know more? Well, let us delve into the best and most underrated facts about Valentine’s day. That would help us understand Valentine’s day in a better manner. And get to know the week-long celebration of love a little better.
Valentine’s Day Facts you always wanted to know
Without much ado and beating around the bush, here are a few facts you always wanted to know about Valentine’s day.
The Valentine’s day celebrations began with the Roman Pagan festival
The beginning of Valentine’s day has two theories around it. One of them relates it to the pagan festival of the Roman empire. One of the theories traces the origin of Valentines week celebrations to the pagan festival of Lupercalia. And yes, the festival does not have anything romantic attached to it!
The festival of Lupercalia involved men stripping the young women naked and spanking them. This was believed to increase fertility. So much for modern science! The day was celebrated on February 15.
The other theory is more prevalent and has more buyers. It dates back to the time of Roman Emperor Claudius II. Valentine’s day history facts point to the fact that the emperor was building his army and believed marriages weaken the men. He forbade men from marrying. St. Valentine defied this ban and performed secret marriages unknown to the king.
He was imprisoned for disobedience and was subsequently executed. The day of his execution, Feb 14, has since been celebrated as Valentine’s day. The Valentines week tradition, however, is of recent origin.
When did the Romantic Celebrations start?
Valentines week celebrations or even Valentine’s day as a romantic festival began quite after sometime after St. Valentine’s death. It is assumed that the concept of celebrating it as a romantic day began around 1000 years after the death of the benevolent saint.
It is believed that the tradition began somewhere in the 14th century. Making the festival popular has been attributed to writer Geoffrey Chaucer. However, the tradition became widespread in the 18th century. It was marked by the exchange of flowers, confectionary and greetings cards.
Concept of Valentines was started by Esther Howland
Well, by Valentines we mean the Valentine’s greeting cards. The credit for making the concept of the Valentines popular and exceptional goes to Esther Howland. She was named as the Mother of AmericanValentine by CNN.
The Valentines in the US were less romantic before the advent of Esther Howland. She was inspired by the designs in circulation in England and wanted to market the similar ones in the US. She became the first manufacturer of the unique Valentine design in the US. And now, we have over 144 million cards being shared every year in the US, as Hallmark puts it out.
Valentine’s day does not exist anymore in the Church records
Would you believe it? That should be one of the hardest ever Valentine’s day facts for you. While we hold Valentines week for a full seven-day celebration, St Valentine does not find a mention in the Vatican records anymore. Looks strange? There is a reason for that as well.
Thee have been a huge number of valentines all through history. As per records, there were 14 St Valentin or Valentine and three of them died on February 14! This was so confusing to differentiate between all these Valentines and the Second Vatican Council under the leadership of Pope Paul VI decided to scrap all the 12 feasts of St Valentine. So, since 1969, there has been no official Valentine’s day as such. We are all carrying ahead the fun part of it.
Candy Hearts were first used for medical purposes
The Candy Hearts that have become a part and parcel of Valentine’s day celebrations. But they do have a beginning in the sphere of medical sciences. The candy was first brought up by Oliver Chase who was a pharmacist in Boston. He invented the first candy-making machine in 1847.
The Oxford Encyclopedia records this as a fact. However, the machine was found to be more efficient and later on the candies began to be a part of Valentines week and Valentines day celebrations. However, the iconic shape that they are sold now has its beginning more than a decade later.
The Vintage Valentine cards were quite in “bad taste”
That should be yet another of the unique Valentine’s day facts. The initial or vintage Valentine cards were actually creepy to the core.
The vintage cards used to be aggressive and spoke of “direct action”. The concept of stealing one’s heart was literally taken to the level of kidnapping.
The bow and arrow are not just symbols
The bow and arrow that form part of the valentine’s day depictions are not just graphics. They have been associated with the Roman mythology. Roman mythology has a God for love and beauty. Cupid is the son of Venus who is the goddess of love and beauty.
Cupid is entrusted with the task of casting spells of love between the individuals and is often depicted with a bow and arrows. The arrows carried by him are decorated with flowers, indicating that it is a fight of the hearts. In fact, Venus along with her son Cupid is synonymous with sexual love. And yes, Cupid is also called EROS and has been constantly associated with romantic love.
Most of the Americans skip Valentines day
Would you believe it? That should be one of the funny Valentine’s day facts. But, that is a fact. And the only reason is not that they are single. Many of them believe Valentine’s day is not quite cheesy. It has been assumed that around 3 in 10 American adults don’t like celebrating the day.
Of course, that should not necessarily mean that they will not go out on the day. They would want to treat themselves to a small gift or even hangout with friends. But do not believe in celebrating the day of Love or even Valentines week! A kind of unbelievable one among Valentine’s day facts, eh?
Roses are the symbol of Valentines week!
That may not be the right addition to the unknown Valentine’s day facts, but we included it here just because of the significance that the roses carry in the Valentine’s day celebrations. As we already found out above, roses are the favourite flowers for Cupid and his mother Venus.
Moreover, it has long been associated with the feeling of love. That would perhaps explain the huge number of bouquets that consist of roses predominantly. In fact, roses have been the king of the florals when it comes to Valentine’s day celebrations. Roses will account for more than half of the total floral sales on a Valentines day.
Well, those were a few facts about Valentine’s day that you always wanted to know. Now that you understand the concept of Valentine’s day better, get up and join the festival of Love…!