1. The Real Saint Valentine Is Shrouded In Mystery

Despite the fact that he lived in the third century AD, virtually nothing is known about this saint or the life he led. It is not even clear what number of holy men named Valentine there were, or which one is honored on Valentine’s Day.

Regardless, bits and pieces about the saint have made it into the realm of legends. The consensus is that he was a priest who broke the law doing what he believed in. Some tales say he carried out marriages between soldiers and their beloveds. In Rome during that time, this was towards the law. Soldiers weren’t allowed to marry. When Valentine was caught, he was imprisoned and put to death for defying Roman rules.

One other story additionally involves his imprisonment, but this time for working towards his faith and refusing to worship the emperor. While in jail, he turned friends with the jailer’s daughter. He prayed for her, and he or she was healed of her maladies. On the night time of his execution, Valentine gave his friend a note to comfort her. It read, quite merely, “From Your Valentine.”

2. Matchmaking Was An Ancient Roman Tradition That Preceded Valentine’s Day

Lupercalia was a festival that took place every year in historic Rome between the 13th and 15th of February. Its objective was to cleanse and protect the community. A number of the festival traditions had been meant to get rid of evil spirits and bless crops.

There was additionally a matchmaking part to the festivities. Women put their names in an urn. Men picked names from the urn. The couples formed by this lottery system were expected to remain together for a year. Surprisingly, many of these random matches resulted in marriages.

Centuries later, this historical celebration merged with the newer tradition of honoring Saint Valentine on February 14. The newer holiday was much more subdued, but a number of the festival’s romantic aspects carried forward.

3. Valentine Cards Turned All The Rage In Victorian England

In the Center Ages, noblemen wrote (or hired others to write for them) impassioned love notes to their pricey ones. However it wasn’t until the Victorian Period within the mid-1800s that sending valentine cards became a popular custom.

First it was handmade cards embellished with lace and ribbon. These were fancy cards with intricate designs that included cutouts and pop-ups. The tradition was popularized in England and made its way to the U.S. several decades later.

With advances in printing technology, cards began to be mass-produced. Right now 180 million valentine cards are exchanged every year within the U.S. alone. Designs proceed to evolve, but heart and floral themes remain as popular as they had been in Victorian times.

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