Ever wondered about the origins of Valentine’s Day? Just like any holiday, the day of hearts has an interesting history that will surely pique your curiosity to read more.
Or maybe, this can be one interesting way to start a conversation with your date on Valentine’s Day.
Let’s paint the town red with these Valentine’s Day topics:
Ready to get to know Valentine’s Day a little bit more? Let’s get started.
1. What Is Valentine’s Day?
We were curious to know what’s the exact definition of Valentine’s Day and the different reasons why people celebrate it. So we researched up a bit and found some interesting details to give some background on the origins of Valentine’s Day.
We also came up with inspiring reasons to celebrate love on Valentine’s which you might find helpful in a few weeks. Read on to find out.
The Definition Of Valentine’s Day
According to Britannica, Valentine’s Day is a social custom where people express their love and affection to each other through gifts and sweet greetings. The iconic Hallmark Valentine cards people used to send greetings to go way back to the 1900s when thoughtful messages were best sent through the post. Now private messages, memes, and video calls are the more popular way of expressing affection on Valentine’s Day.
How about when is Valentine’s Day? This might be a no-brainer already but we’ll answer it anyway. Valentine’s happens on February 14th every year where people celebrate through romantic dinners and parties with friends at home or a nice trendy restaurant.
Menus cooked up by home chefs or chefs at the restaurant are savory meals and creamy dishes paired with sweet desserts and drinks. This is why restaurants and cafes are always jam-packed on Valentine’s, so make sure to schedule ahead to get a seat.
But Valentine’s Day can also mean different things to different people. Some choose to celebrate it together in a cafe with a good book, perhaps a love for them is quality time doing things they love together. Others would go for a holiday out of town or a simple walk in the park within the city.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in lots of different ways because there are so many ways love can be expressed. How about you, what’s your favorite way of celebrating love on Valentine’s?
Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
People have different reasons why they choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It can be the love of friends, family, or their significant other. Each one is unique for everyone. And it’s also not only limited to couples because singles can celebrate love on Valentine’s too, just in different ways.
If you’re feeling down and low about the upcoming Valentine’s this year, here’s a quick list to inspire you and celebrate love anyway.
#1 Valentine’s is the perfect excuse to get a little fancier for dinner and dessert. So whether you’re single or married, this is when you can treat yourself and your spouse to that steak or seafood you’ve been craving for.
#2 Heart’s day is a great day to get creative and share your passion for the arts through thoughtful cards, small gifts, or acts of service that remind people they’re loved and appreciated. Celebrate the people you love by making them feel loved.
#3 It’s a day to remind yourself why love is worth giving a try and worth taking care of. Even when you feel like the relationship you have now is going bust. And even if you’re single and have no chance at all of going on a date with your crush.
Just give love a chance. You’ll never know what great results could come from simply trying. If you’re single, do things you love doing. Not for anybody else, but for you. You’ll come back more content and inspired after Valentine’s.
#4 Valentine’s is a chance to get to know your spouse and yourself better. From choosing the right flowers, cooking a special dinner, to setting up the ambiance, you’ll get to see what delights both of you best. And which ones you’d rather do without next Valentine’s.
Getting to know each other better will make for a sweeter relationship as the days, months, and years go by. And for those who’re single, it’s a great way to get to know how you want to be loved. You can share these things about yourself with your future partner someday.
2. The History of Valentine’s Day
This segment is kind of like the how it started/how it’s going trend on social media. We’ll talk about how Valentine’s Day came about and what it’s like today where you’ll get to know Valentine’s traditions all over the world. Lastly, to give you a heads up as well, the origins of Valentine’s Day are far from romantic.
The Origins of Valentine’s Day: How It Started
If you’re wondering why Rome is pictured above, that’s because Rome is where it all started. According to History, Valentine’s Day may have originated from two legends passed on throughout the centuries from Rome.
- The first legend is St. Valentine who is credited as the patron saint of Valentine’s Day.
- The other legend claims that Valentine’s Day was a feast meant to replace the ancient pagan practice of Lupercalia.
The Legends of St. Valentine’s
For the first one, there are 3 possible persons and consequently, 3 possible stories that paint Valentine’s Day’s background. The editors of History share that the first Valentine is recognized by the Catholic Church as a priest who lived in the 3rd century.
He secretly officiated marriages at a time when it was illegal to get married as decreed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. That priest pursued officiating marriages because he saw that it was unjust to forbid marriage.
But he was martyred for doing so because the emperor believed that single men were better soldiers than married ones. Banning marriages was one way the emperor believed he could get better soldiers for a better army.
The second one in the history of Valentine’s Day could be an Italian bishop who was also martyred by Claudius II. The editors of Britannica, on the other hand, say that instead of being a different individual, this Valentine may be the same person.
The third Valentine could be someone who helped Christian prisoners escape from jail because of the harsh living conditions they were in. Not to mention the unjust reasons for imprisonment.
The legend goes on to say that Valentine himself was imprisoned and fell in love with someone who might have been the jailer’s daughter. It was said that he wrote her letters and signed them off with “From your Valentine”. This explains a possible origin of the expression we’re all familiar with today.
Celebrating on the 14th of February was started by Pope Gelasius I who declared it as the day when people were to celebrate the life of St. Valentine.
A Valentine’s Day Background on Ancient Rome & The Rest of The World
This is where our discussion on Valentine’s Day’s background gets a bit bloody. Lupercalia is an ancient Roman pagan festival that happened on February 15. It was a festival that upheld fertility.
What they did during this event was to first conduct a rite that sacrificed a goat and a dog, The animals’ blood was smeared onto the foreheads of the Roman priests who conducted the rites and wiped off with wool soaked in milk.
Then those priests cut the hides of the sacrificed goat and went around the area of Palatine Hill whipping women with it. The women welcomed the whips because they believed it was a rite of fertility and would increase their chances of bearing children.
A matchmaking event was also set-up during this event where women’s names were placed inside a jar and men would get to have their pick. The women they chose will get paired with them throughout the festival. A lot of couples stayed together until the next festival with many getting married eventually.
This pagan festival was taken out by Pope Gelasius I when he established February 14 as the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day instead. He meant it as a day to honor the life of the saint but over time it was connected to love.
Valentine’s Day was associated with events like the mating season of the birds in England and France. The birds’ mating season occurred during February too.
Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer romanticized the idea of Valentine’s Day through their literary pieces which became a big hit in Europe. The idea of celebrating love and passion on Valentine’s Day spread to the United States and later on, around the world. The rest as we know its history.
That was a long brief on Valentine’s Day’s history, wasn’t it? Read on for lighter news on the background of Valentine’s Day.
The Origins of Valentine’s Day: How It’s Going (Valentine’s Traditions All Around The World)
Valentine’s has its traditions just as much as New Year’s Eve has. Here’s a valentine’s day background on how countries across the globe celebrate love today. Looking at how others celebrate can give us new ideas about how we can do it differently this year.
Valentine’s In The Romantic City of Paris, France
One of the world’s most romantic cities celebrates love with all the works of chocolates, cozy dinners, and small sweet gifts. They compliment it with the romantic backdrop of the Parisian streets, Eiffel Tower, and crisp weather that makes the perfect Valentine’s Day. The key here is the right blend of things.
The celebration is also mostly by couples unlike in other countries where kids and teens can celebrate too by sending cards or gifts to their parents or friends.
Italy & Amore on Valentine's Day
They say Italy is in love with love. And anyone who’s been in love will be able to relate. From walking the beautiful streets of Italy hand in hand to dining on flavorful dishes while conversing intimately, there’s no better place to fall in love than in Italy. Their culture of close-knit relationships also nurtures love which is why Italians enjoy love and make it last.
One of their traditions of showing love is through the symbolic act of latching a padlock on a bridge and throwing away its key. This signifies that their love is for keeps.
Another tradition is giving Baci chocolates that have something romantic written inside. With the word ‘Baci’ meaning ‘kisses’, it’s another symbolic way of expressing love as it’s like exchanging kisses as you give each other Baci chocolates.
Flowers & Humor On Valentine's In Denmark
White flowers are romantic enough to look at and even more so when it’s given called “snowdrops”. Snowdrops are what the Danes call these simple white flowers they give each other on Valentine’s Day.
Love letters are also a tradition in Denmark but with a twist. Danish men gave funny love letters called a “gaekkebrev” to the women and instead of signing with their names, they drew dots instead. The ladies had to guess who gave it to them by figuring out the name based on the number of dots drawn on the letter. If they guessed correctly, the men will reward them with an Easter egg later in the year.
Talk about being a romantic and a funny Valentine!
3 Days For Love In South Korea
Say annyeonghaseyo to love in South Korea in February and March! South Korea has a unique way of celebrating love where February is when women give the men the works of Valentine’s Day like chocolates and flowers.
March 14, called White Day, is the men’s turn to give the women chocolates, flowers, and even gifts to take the romance up a notch. Love locks are popular among couples too.
But wait, here’s where you’ll find more. A third holiday called Black Day exists where those who didn’t get anything eat black noodles called “jajangmyeon“. But hey, it’s not sad being single. You can choose to change your perspective and celebrate the love of family and friends instead while you’re waiting for love to come your way.
Romantic Dinners, Courtship, and Weddings In The Philippines On Valentine’s
Filipinos celebrate Valentine’s Day the way most of the world does – through romantic dinners, trips out of town during the weekend, chocolates, flowers, and love letters. Some men even take this special day as the occasion to ask the woman they really like for a chance to court her. Courtship is the man’s pursuit of a woman where they get to know each other better to take on a romantic relationship.
Others take the 14th as the day they finally say “I Do”. Some have private weddings while there are also people who participate in mass weddings which are presided by the cities’ local government units. This is called “Kasalang Bayan“.
3. Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
Mulling over Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Choosing the right gift for your significant other doesn’t have to be rocket science. It is stressful at times but knowing the simple things that make him or her smile will help you choose the best out of all the possible good.
Here are some Valentine’s Day gift ideas to give your creative juices a fresh start. And while you’re at it, try to remember all the moments (or items) that made your partner smile. Then identify what exactly it is about that thing/event that made them happy. Taking all these into consideration will lead you to the right choice.
Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Her
Valentine’s Day gift ideas for her are all about thoughtful gifts that pay attention to her interests and make her feel cared for. Nothing deflates Valentine’s Day more than a generic gift that was simply bought without thought.
Flowers and chocolates may delight some, but other women might like something else. A good hint would be things she’d love to have but wouldn’t buy herself. Check out our thoughtful list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas below.
- A box of her favorite skincare essentials – ask help from her friends for this
- AirPods for the techy girlfriend/wife
- Elegant silky pajamas or loungewear for the perfect work from the home get-up
- A fluffy and soft robe and slippers for a comfortable and glam look even while at home
- A silk set of pillowcases, scrunchies, and eye mask for her beauty sleep
- Bath bombs for those who love to indulge in bathtubs – be mindful of scents she prefers
- A classy journal filled with notes about what you love about her. Write one for each day of February to level it up.
- Jewelry – make this unique by choosing something really elegant and modern. Some vendors at Etsy even have customized bracelets that are designed with your own handwriting. Think of it as a love letter turned into a bracelet.
- Scented candles that she can light up anytime she’s feeling a little extra
- The classic Valentine’s date night prepared by you: from food, drinks, dessert, and ambiance. Surprise her with flowers in her favorite colors to make it more romantic.
Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Him
Bring thoughtfulness and practicality together as you choose Valentine’s gift for your beau. Seeing how you took notice of his interests will really make him feel special and encourage him to continue being the man you fell in love with. If he’s interested in coffee, cooking, wine, anthropology, dinosaurs, or what-not, something related to what he likes will really fill up his love tank.
Gifts that he can also use daily to make work or everyday life more enjoyable will also put a smile on his face not just on Valentine’s Day but every day he’ll be using it. Here’s a list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas for him to inspire you.
- A classic bag made of leather and canvas where he can keep his things stylish and organized
- A grooming kit set filled with his favorite self-care essentials
- A portable espresso maker for the coffee-lover
- A back and neck massager he can use to take short breaks with
- A soft and plush oversized robe he can relax in after work
- A new video game for his video game console
- A new accessory for his phone or laptop
- A kit of an exquisite hot sauce, chocolate, or wine for the avid home chef
- A cleaning set for his favorite sneakers or leather shoes. Even when he’s simply at home, sneakerheads and leather aficionados always make sure their shoes are in tip-top shape
- A classy pair of moccasins perfect for his work from the home outfit and lazy Sundays
- A realistic dinosaur puppet or animatronic dinosaur model definitely will surprise him.
New Perspectives & Choices For Valentine’s
So there you have it! We just rounded up the most interesting topics on Valentine’s Day. You might not look at it the same way again with all that you learned from this article. We hope you’ll be able to pick the best gifts with the Valentine’s Day gift ideas we shared.
However, you would choose to celebrate, remember, it’s not merely the day of Valentine’s itself but what you choose to celebrate. Let it be love, let it be life. Cheers!