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A Look Back At The History Of Valentine's Day

How It All Began To Where We Are Now

From its ancient roots to the modern day celebration of love, we take a look back at the history of Valentine's Day. Find out how this special holiday has evolved over time and discover what people have been doing to celebrate it since its inception. We'll also explore some of the unique rituals that people have adopted to honor their special someone, and how different cultures have celebrated this day around the world! 

Though the exact origins of Valentine’s Day are unknown, we do know that the holiday has been celebrated for centuries. The earliest recorded celebrations of Valentine’s Day dates back to the Roman Empire. At this time, the holiday was known as Lupercalia and was celebrated from February 13th-15th. During Lupercalia, single men and women would draw names from a jar and would be paired up for the duration of the festival. This pairing often led to marriage.

The holiday became associated with San Valentino also known as Saint Valentine. The first recorded instance of Saint Valentine’s Day being celebrated on February 14th dates back to 496 AD. Pope Gelasius I declared February 14th as a day to honor Saint Valentine. It is believed that Gelasius chose this date because it was around the same time as the Roman festival of Lupercalia.

As the centuries progressed, poets like Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized San Valentino and the day of love, popularizing the celebration across Europe and the New World. Finally, in the early 20th century, Hallmark commercialized the holiday and here we are, amid a tornado of hearts, candy, and cards.

Valentine's Day is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Today, Italians celebrate La Festa di San Valentino with romantic dinners, meaningful gifts, and rich chocolate.

In Japan, the traditional way to celebrate Valentine's Day is for girls to give chocolates to boys. This is usually done anonymously, with the girl giving the boy a chocolate without saying who it is from. The boy is then supposed to guess who gave him the chocolate. If he guesses correctly, then the girl will usually give him a return gift on White Day, which is celebrated one month after Valentine's Day. 

In Korea, Valentine's Day is also celebrated with gifts of chocolate, but it is usually girls who receive chocolates from boys. On White Day, it is customary for boys to give gifts to girls, often in the form of white chocolate or lingerie.

Did you know The oldest known Valentine's Day card was sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.

Valentine's Day has a long and rich history, from its ancient Roman roots to the modern-day celebration of love between friends and family. It is always interesting to look back at how it all began and see where we are now. Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day with your beloved, or simply take time out of your day to appreciate those who mean the most in your life, don't forget that Valentine's Day is ultimately about showing gratitude for those special people in our lives!

My very gentle Valentine,

Since for me you were born too soon,

And I for you was born too late.

God forgives him who has estranged

Me from you for the whole year.

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine.