Won’t you be…..my Valentine?

Don’t we all dream of love and romance? Since we were children in kindergarten, we waited for the cards from our classmates and hoped we would be someone’s Valentine. But, Valentine’s Day is not all about ordering the roses or buying the chocolates and making the dinner reservations or about getting them either! To me, whether you are waiting for your Valentine or trying to choose your Valentine, remember, we should celebrate love every day and no matter who you love, you need to love yourself first.

But, like everything, Valentine’s Day has a history and an origin. It’s a lot older than we think! St. Valentine’s Day began hundreds of years ago and made its way through Medieval Europe and England, Renaissance France and 18th century London. And yet, today it has become the most commercialized day of the year and can bring joy or sorrow.

Here are five truly surprising facts!

  1. Valentine’s Day originally had more to do with death than love. Valentine’s Day originated as a liturgical Christian celebration commemorating the martyrdom of Saint Valentine. The popular saint was supposedly imprisoned and then killed for performing weddings of soldiers who were forbidden to marry under a Christian service. According to legend, before his execution he wrote a letter to his jailer’s daughter who he had healed and signed it “Your Valentine.”
  2. The Romans celebrated Valentine’s Day first!In Ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercaliawas observed February 13-15 to celebrate the start of spring and the fertility of the earth. Although there is no direct link between this Pagan festival and the feast of St. Valentine, it is an interesting coincidence that this festival should predate what was to become the biggest celebration of love, romance and, let’s face it, sex, that the world has ever known by hundreds of years.
  3. An English poet made the holiday romantic. It was medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who first created a strong association between St. Valentine’s Day and romance. In 1381, Chaucer wrote a poem in honor of the marriage of King Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia: This is the first recorded association between Valentine’s Day and love or romance.
  4. A French court made the holiday popular.In 15th century Paris, Princess Isabel of Bavaria apparently established a “High Court of Love.” It was founded on January 6th, the festivity of a Bavarian Saint Valentine. The court dealt playfully with romances, relationships and love.  Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading. This the first time that the romantic associations with the festival became widely popularized.
  5. Valentine’s Day card exchanges date back to the 18th Century.In 1797, a British publisher issued “The Young Man’s Valentine Writer,” a book containing sentimental verses and short poems for young lovers.