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The History of Valentine's Day
Transcript of The History of Valentine's Day
1. A priest named Valentine continued to marry soldiers after a Roman emperor hoping to minimize distractions banned his army men from marrying. Valentine was discovered and put to death (Hallowell, n.d.).
2. A man jailed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons fell in love with his warden's daughter and wrote her love letters signed "From your Valentine" (Hallowell, n.d.).
Either way, Valentine is known as a "sympathetic, heroic, and--most importantly--romantic figure" ("Valentine's Day," n.d.), a combo that made him one of the favorite saints in the Catholic church. Why February 14th? To: You, Love: Me The History of Valentine's Day Roses and chocolates... A 5th Century Pope declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day to distract pagans from their celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival honoring the Roman goddess of agriculture (Hallowell, n.d.).
The Pope had no intention to make this a special day of love ("Valentine's Day," n.d.). Valentine greetings date back to the Middle Ages, but written Valentines didn't emerge until sometime after 1400 AD ("Valentine's Day," n.d.)
The oldest known Valentine was sent by an imprisoned Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. The Duke wrote a poem that stated "I am already sick of love / My very gentle Valentine" ("Valentine's Poems and Sayings," n.d). Valentine's Fever Valentine's Day became a popular celebration around the 17th Century both in Great Britain and the US ("Valentine's Day," n.d.).
The "Mother of the Valentine," Esther Howland, "began selling the first mass-produced Valentines" using "real lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures" ("Valentine's Day," n.d.).
Today, over one billion Valentine's cards are sent each year. Christmas is the only holiday that beats Valentine's in card-giving ("Valentine's Day," n.d.)! Quick Lesson on Why we Celebrate on February 14 Valentine's Fever Gets Extreme Americans spent (drum roll please) $17.6 billion on Valentine's Day in 2012! This averages to a Valentine's spending of $126.03 per person ("Americans Spend More," n.d.).
19.9% of Americans said they even planned to buy their pet a Valentine ("Americans Spend More," n.d.)!
Despite all the money being spent, only 60% of Americans claim to celebrate Valentine's Day ("Americans Spend More," n.d.). Valentine's Day isn't just for Americans and Brits! (5)
Lovers in France took a cue from birds who began to mate around the middle of February and decided to make the 14th a day for humans to mate, too.
Italians go beyond chocolate and flowers and give diamonds and perfumes to their lovers.
The Scottish celebrate Valentine's Day with the first man or woman they see on the street, even if it's a stranger!
India just began celebrating Valentine's Day and is trying to popularize the holiday with media hype. Bonne Saint Valentin! References
Americans spend more on Valentine's Day than Halloween. (n.d.). The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/valentines-day-spending_n_1276428.html
Hallowell, B. (n.d.). Do you know the violent history behind Valentine’s Day?. TheBlaze.com. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/14/do-you-know-the-violent-history-behind-valentines-day/
How other countries celebrate Valentine's Day. (n.d.). Do Something. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from http://www.dosomething.org/blog/how-other-countries-celebrate-valentines-day
Valentine's Day. (n.d.). History.com. Retrieved February 16, 2013, from http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day
Valentine's poems and sayings. (n.d.). Phrases.org. Retrieved February 21, 2013, from http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/valentines-day-poems-and-sayings.html So next time you celebrate
the day of love... So the next time you celebrate
Valentine's Day... remember it's more than just
roses and chocolates! ("Valentine's Day," n.d.)