The Origins of Valentine’s Day



Love lollipops

Valentine’s day was originally a pagan holiday Lupercalia, celebrating fertility.

Lupercalia came to an end and later the Catholic church declared that February 14 was the day to celebrate Saint Valentine, a martyr that was executed during roman times, the execution was known as heroism among Christians.

But love didn’t come into play with this holiday until more than a thousand years after Saint Valentine’s death.

A medieval poet named Geoffrey Chaucer connected the feast of St. Valentine to English birds that mated in February.

After Chaucer’s reference to the connection in his poem “Parliament of Foules,” European aristocrats started sending love notes during bird-mating season.

Since the poem that Chaucer wrote, the holiday has become more about romance.

Instead of handwritten notes, paper valentines rose to popularity after the 18th century.

But the paper valentines didn’t make it to America until the mid-19th century when a woman named Esther Howland took inspiration from the English valentines and began selling lace and other decorations at her father’s stationary shop.

Giving gifts like conversation hearts also rose to popularity in the mid-19th century, the conversation hearts that we know now were produced in 1901 and it soon became the most popular valentine’s day candy in the United States.

Valentine’s day has been considered a commercial holiday, but it is also a day to show the people you love how special they are.