Valentine's Day History
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and friendship. The idea of Valentine's Day seems to have originated during the Middle Ages, somewhere around the 14th or 15th century. The holiday derived its name from two Roman martyrs for love, both named Valentine.
The first Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, but not before leaving a note signed from your Valentine for his lady. The second Valentine was supposedly a bishop who secretly married young couples, an act that was forbidden by the Roman Emperor who wanted young men to first serve as soldiers before marrying. Valentine ignored the law and was beheaded on February 14. An ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, a celebration for which young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities, has also been linked to the origins of Valentine's Day. Since then, the custom of selecting a sweetheart on February 14th has spread through Europe and its colonies and transformed itself into the celebration of love and friendship that we know today.
Valentine's Day Facts & Quotes
- Symbols for Valentine's day include hearts, chocolate, flowers, and Cupid - the Roman God of Love.
- 52% of US consumers will send out at least 1 Valentine's Day card, 47% will send candy, and 34% will send flowers.
- In 2012, consumers spent over $13.19 billion on Valentine' Day.
- 180 million Valentine's Day Cards were sent in 2012.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. - William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Valentine's Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Send someone you care for a Valentine's Day card. Take the time to write a small note or love poem inside. Sign it, from your Valentine.
- Go to a special romantic dinner with your sweetheart. Tip: Book early as this is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.
- Watch the movie Valentine's Day (2010) or the Notebook (2004). Both are romance movies with star casts.
- Send a Secret Valentine to someone several days before, and then reveal your identity on February 14th.
- Remember other important people in your life, such as your parents, grandparents and old friends. Send them a small card or gift to remind them of how much you care.