The season of love is upon us, with 14 February officially when we celebrate those we love more than any other day – from Valentines to Galentines, Palentines, pets and everyone in-between!
Whether you’re someone who gets swept off their feet in a shower of heart emojis, are a traditional gift-giver, or you prefer to celebrate those you love in your own special way (rather than in February) – there’s no denying the global force of Valentine’s Day!
But how much do you know about this day that now belongs to Cupid’s arrow? After a fun little research session, we’ve found 10 pretty interesting ‘facts’ about this Global Day of Love. Read on to see what we discovered!
1. WHERE DID VALENTINE’S DAY BEGIN?
From tales relating to early Christian saints right up to Greek and Roman mythology, there are many schools of thought on the origin and history of this special day. Here are a few:
At least three Christian martyrs were named Valentine and are believed to have been executed for various reasons, including marrying Roman soldiers in secret. Emperor Claudius II prevented soldiers from marrying because he thought they should only love Rome.
Valentine’s Day is also thought to have originated with a particular Christian bishop, named Valentine, who performed secret marriage ceremonies in defiance of the emperor’s law.
He was eventually imprisoned, and legend has it that before his execution on 14 February, he left a farewell love message for the jailor’s daughter signed ‘from your Valentine’. A phrase many still use to this day!
2. WHEN DID VALENTINE’S DAY BECOME A HOLIDAY ASSOCIATED WITH LOVE?
In the 1300s! At the end of the 5th century, Roman Pope Gelasius officially declared the date of February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages, though, that the holiday became associated with love and romance, a tradition that first started from the common belief in France and England that birds started their mating season on February 14.
3. WHO SENT THE VERY FIRST VALENTINE?
The oldest record of a valentine being sent is believed to be a poem written by a French medieval duke named Charles, to his wife, way back in 1415! He penned this sweet note to his lover while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at just 21 years old. One of the lines in the poem? ‘I am already sick of love, my very gentle Valentine.’
4. WHEN WERE THE FIRST COMMERCIAL CARDS PRODUCED FOR VALENTINE’S DAY?
People started exchanging cards and handwritten letters to both lovers and friends during the 17th century, but it was in the 1840s that the first Valentine’s Day cards were mass-produced in the US, sold by Esther A. Howland. Known as the ‘Mother of the American Valentine,’ Howland is credited with commercialising Valentine’s Day cards in America (which then spread globally), and she is remembered for her elaborate, crafty cards made with lace and ribbons.
5. WHO CREATED THE FIRST HEART-SHAPED CHOCOLATE BOX?
Unsurprisingly, it was Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, who started packaging chocolates in fancy boxes to increase sales in 1861. He introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in 1861, and today, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year. That’s a lot of chocolate!
6. WHICH PROFESSION RECIEVES THE MOST VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS?
We love teachers and so does everyone else it seems! It is believed teachers receive the most Valentine’s Cards out of any profession each year. And rightly so!
7. ANOTHER ONE FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS
In the 1800s, doctors began to prescribe chocolate for matters of love. Some believed a dose of chocolate would cure a broken heart. More recently, doctors have confirmed chocolate can lift moods, but you already knew that!
8. HEARTS ON SLEEVES
Ever heard the phrase, ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve’? Ever wondered where it came from? Well, in the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be. Then, they would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression we still use today!
9. GOLD RUSH LOVE
It is said that during the Australian gold rush period, miners became extremely rich due to the new wealth found from the Ballarat Mines. These miners ordered extravagant Valentines amounting to thousands of pounds at a time. Some of the most lavish were made of a satin cushion and were perfumed and ornately decorated with flowers and coloured shells. Some were even adorned with taxidermy hummingbirds or birds of paradise!
10. WHAT ABOUT VALENTINE’S DAY IN SWEDEN?
In Sweden, Valentine’s Day has only been celebrated since the 1960s and is called ‘alla hjärtans dag‘ which means ‘all hearts day’. The Swedish are knowsn for their love for sweet things, so of course there is a lot of exchanging sweet pastries, candies and jelly hearts! One of our favourite Swedish traditions is the baking of and sharing of Cinnamon buns. Grab our recipe here https://blog.kikki-k.com/enjoy-this-cinnamon-bun-recipe
Human connection is more important than ever right now, so there’s never been a better time to show your bestie or your true love how much you care, surprise a special someone – or even spoil yourself! No matter who you love or how, celebrate it like never before. From gorgeous gifts to greeting cards and more, there’s something for everyone you love at kikki.K.
Sources used for these fun ‘facts’: