Valentine's Day History and the Tradition
"Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day?" This is a question we hear every year, especially from frazzled new lovers who were unaware their significant others placed so much importance on this day.
It’s the time to spread a little sweet affection, whether that means giving yourself some love, or sharing a tender moment with a beau. These things can be done any time of year, but there’s a something special about giving someone a box of chocolates or a sweet Valentine’s Day card (or maybe it’s just all the paper hearts pasted in every window).
Either way, for many folks, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to share something sweet with that sweet person in your life (even if that’s yourself!). The romantic holiday originally had roots in the Catholic Church, where legend says a St. Valentine married young lovers in secret after Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young soldiers. Other stories claim the saint was arrested for helping Christian prisoners from Roman prisons. It’s during this time that allegedly Valentine wrote a note to a young lady he had fallen in love with, signed as “From your Valentine,” a phrase still used today.
The tradition to share love notes and other affectionate letters in February became common as early as 1400 B.C. Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day in the fifth century, cementing the tradition.
Even if you’re not a fan of sappy Hallmark cards, Valentine’s Day is still a lovely way to show those special people in your life just how much you love them. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a box of chocolate?