Valentine’s Day is a widely known celebration across the globe. It is especially famous amongst lovers – married couples and those still getting to know each other. It is a day to celebrate love and affection towards your romantic partners. Valentine’s Day is also an occasion where flowers and chocolates are sold out almost everywhere. They are used as gifts for special people in someone’s life. Do you ever wonder why?
How did Valentine’s Day start?
Every year on February 14th, it is very common to see flowers, chocolates, gifts, and love letters sent out to everyone’s romantic partners. Whether it is their wife, girlfriend, or someone they are still courting, gift-giving and big gestures are made every year on this day. Even though this occasion is continuously celebrated year after year, nobody truly knows where or when this tradition actually started. However, there are many theories regarding the origin of Valentine’s Day. Here are some theories:
Valentines (Valentinus, the Roman priest)
Many believe that the celebration goes way back to 3rd century Rome when a Roman priest was executed and beheaded. The priest is Valentinus, now known as St. Valentines. He was known as a martyr. He made a deal with a guard that if he could cure the guard’s blind daughter, the guard would convert into Christianity. When St. Valentines healed the blind girl, the guard and his entire family converted into Christianity, which upset the Roman emperor.
Valentines (Valentinus, an Italian bishop)
The second man also is known as St. Valentines has faced the same sort of situation. He also convinced a man to convert into Christianity, which made the Roman emperor, Gothicus, upset. This lead to St. Valentines’ execution along with the Christian converts.
Cupid – Roman god of love
Another legend is quite different from the ones above. This story entails that a priest of Cupid used to perform secret weddings for ancient Roman soldiers. During that time, active soldiers are forbidden to marry, for thoughts about loved ones, can distract them. The priest would wear a ring with a cupid symbol and give paper hearts to remind people about the god of love. The forbidden deeds were later found out and the priest executed.
Some people believe that the origin of Valentine’s Day began before the time of Valentinus (St. Valentines) in a pagan tradition called Lupercalia. This festival celebrated fertility and required men and women to put their names into a jar.
Popular Christian belief says that this occasion is celebrated to honor those martyrs. Although nobody knows which theory is real or which St. Valentine’s persona started this occasion, it is still considered as a tribute to their death. Pope Gelantis officially declared February 14 as Valentine’s Day in the 5th century. However, this holiday was not viewed as a celebration of romance until Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “Parliament of Foules” and mentioned bird-mating in February.
Why do people give flowers on Valentine’s Day?
Flowers are not just pretty things that grow out of a bush. They are not just mere decorations for dining rooms and other spaces. Flowers have served as symbols for a long time. Poets, songwriters, novelists, and artists have used flowers as symbols in their works. Different flowers can signify different things. A flower’s color can also alter the meaning or emotion that it carries. It is a way to express emotions without having to use words.
However, flowers, in general, symbolize love, fertility, and romance. This is why it is common to see men and women sending flowers to their significant other. Back in ancient days, people used to send flowers to their lovers and have a non-verbal interaction with the use of flowers. As said earlier, different kinds of flowers carry different meanings. So, you can choose a certain flower to send to your loved one to convey a specific message. Here are some common flowers sent during Valentine’s Day:
- Red roses
- Pink tulips
- Stargazer Lilies
- Pink roses
Why do people receive chocolates on Valentine’s Day?
Aside from flowers and love letters, it is also common to send chocolates and sweets during Valentine’s Day. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate – name it all! Stores would often run out of sweet treats during this time of the year because of the high demand. Sometimes, the prices of these products would even increase.
There is just something in chocolate that makes it romantic. In ancient times, European royalty would gift chocolate to their lovers because it was said to stimulate the feeling of love. It has been considered as an aphrodisiac treat that intensifies desire and romance in people’s hearts. These treats would often come in fun boxes and different shapes, which make eating it exciting.
Chocolate has been scientifically proven to inflame one’s desire for romance. It is because chocolate releases some sort of brain relaxing substances that increase your energy and level of desire. This explains why chocolates are still very famous gifts for Valentine’s Day along with flowers and love letters to this day.
Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate romance and affection for your significant other. It is a day to send flowers, chocolates, and love letters to show your appreciation to them. However, even when it is not February 14, you should show your affection in your own ways. You can still give your partners some fresh flowers and chocolates on a random day. Simple gestures and words of affirmation are also great ways to show your love without breaking the bank. After all, love should be celebrated daily.