1. Valentine’s Day started with the Romans. ❤
There are 2 theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. The first is that the day derives from Lupercalia, a raucous Roman festival on February 15 where men stripped naked and spanked young maidens in hopes of upping their fertility. The second theory is that while the Roman Emperor Claudius II was trying to bolster his army, he forbade young men to marry (apparently single men make better soldiers). In the spirit of love, St. Valentine defied the ban and performed secret marriages. For his disobedience, Valentine was executed on February 14.
2. ‘Wearing your heart on your sleeve’ is more than just a phrase. ❤
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.
3. Signing your messages with a kiss is nothing new ❤
Typing a long line of kisses at the end of a message is something many of us do but while you may associate it most with the modern “text” era, this little symbol actually has a much longer history.
Some think the cute ‘x’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times when very few individuals could write and would end each of their letters with an ‘x’ embossed in wax or ink to show their sincerity. This evolved to represent the kiss and the rest is history (we’re not sure who decided to add ‘o’ symbols to represent hugs but we’re pretty sure it happened a fair bit later!
4. Not all valentines are chosen on purpose ❤
Receive a valentine today and it’s a sign that someone has a secret crush on you. Go back to the Middle Ages though and the situation is a little different. Back then, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their valentine. The single women’s names would be added to an urn and single men of the town would take a name out and pin it to their sleeves for one whole week. This would allow everyone in the town to see who their valentine was and could be where the term “wearing your heart on your sleeve” originates.
5. Red roses have been associated with love since Ancient Rome
We are all aware that the red rose is a common purchase around the time of Valentine’s Day – but why? Roses, and red ones in particular, have become a symbol of love and are therefore heavily connected with the day. The origin of this tradition stretches as far back as Ancient Rome when the red rose was the favourite flower of Venus: the Goddess of love. ❤