It’s that time of year again: Valentine’s Day. The day when love fills the air, gifts are exchanged, and romantic dinners are shared with someone special. But did you know there’s more to the holiday than roses and chocolates? With a history reaching back thousands of years, there is more to Valentine’s day than meets the eye. Let’s take an in-depth look at 14 lesser-known facts about Valentine’s Day – join us as we explore all that this beloved lovey-dovey holiday has to offer!
1. Valentine’s day was created to replace a pagan festival called Lupercalia, which was a fertility festival.
2. As part of the Lupercalia festival, animals were sacrificed. This practice eventually stopped as part of the Christianization of the holiday.
3. Valentine’s day was created by the Catholic Church in an effort to Christianize the pagan festival of Lupercalia.
4. The first recorded celebration of Valentine’s day was in 496 AD.
5. In the 1950s, an advertisement for candy hearts read: “Say it with Candy Hearts” and made these conversation candies popular.
6. During World War I, soldiers away from home would receive greeting cards filled with pictures of Cupid to remind them of their loved ones.
7. The first recorded association between Valentines Day and romantic love was in 1382 when English poet Chaucer wrote a poem linking love to St Valentine’s Day
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8. Some people celebrate Galentine’s Day on February 13th each year as a day to honor female friendships instead of romantic relationships.
9. In countries like Finland and Estonia, Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä or Friendship Day and it is more about remembering friends rather than romantic partners.
10. Valentine’s Day was banned for a period of time during the 1700s in England by Parliament because the holiday had become so commercialized.
11. There are several religious orders named after St Valentine, including two members of the Catholic Church who were martyred on February 14th.
12. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is a special day for women to give chocolate gifts to the men in their lives.
13. The oldest known Valentine’s letter still in existence today was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 while he was held prisoner in the Tower of London!
14. One of the traditions associated with Valentine’s Day is wearing a red ribbon around the neck. It signifies that you are open to finding love and encourages Cupid’s arrows!