The History of “Valentine’s Day”


When you think about it, Valentine’s Day is quite bizarre. What holiday is about a tiny, unclothed baby in a diaper and flying with a bow & arrow? What does all this have to do about love? Who is Valentine, anyway?

These questions may be bothering you as you look at the Valentine’s bouquets gifted by your Valentine. Don’t worry. We have the answers. Take a bite of a truffle and snuggle up with your partner to learn all about this romantic holiday’s history.

Who is St. Valentine, exactly?

Let’s begin with the most important question: Who is this holiday named after?” We know that Valentine is a saint and a man. Everything else is a bit confusing. The Catholic church of Valentine has as many as three saints. Historians aren’t sure which Valentine we have. Some believe he was an Italian priest while others believe he was a brave gentleman who saved Christians from the cruel confines of Roman prison. It is believed that he was a prison keeper’s son and signed a love note to her, naming it “your Valentine.”

Where does Cupid come in Valentine’s Day?

If Valentine’s Day is about a priest/prison liberator who may or may not be priest, then where does the winged child come in? Good question. Good question. Cupid is a Greek Mythology native, and he may be related to Eros, the Greek God Of Love. Cupid, the good-looking old Cupid, has been known for striking people with his arrow and making them fall in love. He was born a tiny, cute baby sometime between 323 BC & 30 BC. Why? We aren’t sure. Perhaps you are less likely to be shot by an infant.

You may be wondering where are the parents of this child who is causing havoc. You might be better off asking who his parents are. Depending on whom you ask, baby Cupid could be the offspring Nyx (goddess-of-the night) or Erebus (godof darkness), or Aphrodite (well known goddess of love) and Ares. Some might claim he is Iris (goddess who makes the rainbow), Zephyrus (god the west wind), or Aphrodite (famed god the sky).

What was Valentine’s Day First Gift?

In different parts of the world, the tradition of exchanging sweet little gifts and heartfelt messages gained popularity over time. People began exchanging Valentines in America around the 18th century. Esther A. Howland, a hardworking woman, started making and selling mass quantities of lacy, artistic Valentines in the middle 19th century. She was outperformed in the 20th century by printed cards as technology improved.

What’s the history of Valentine’s Day Flowers?

When did flowers become associated with this romantic day in love? It was possibly in the late 1600’s when King Charles II (of Sweden), traveled to Persia to learn about floral communication. It quickly became a Valentine’s Tradition in Europe to say “I love You” or any other message.

Modern Times Catching up

Valentine’s Day is as old as time, or at least as long as several centuries. So are the traditions that go with it. We hope that you have a wonderful present Valentine’s Day, giving and receiving love.