The History of Valentine’s Day: Make this One Stand Out
February has long been celebrated as a month of love, sweetened with cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts of jewelry as expressions of love and romance on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
These celebrations of love have been common since the Middle Ages, but prior to that time, the origins of Valentine’s Day are not so clear. There are many interesting legends and stories about exactly how Valentine’s Day began, dating all the way back to Ancient Rome.
In the 3rd century A.D. back in Rome, Emperor Claudius II executed two men on February 14, both named Valentine, in different years. The Catholic Church honored their martyrdom with a celebration, St Valentine’s Day. A couple of centuries later, Pope Gelasius I combined St Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia, a Roman pagan festival of love and fertility that used to take place on February 13 – 15. He did this to put an end to the pagan rituals and take the focus off them, but this could explain why Valentine’s Day came to be a celebration of love.
Another legend says that a young man by the name of Valentine, was imprisoned after helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. The story goes that he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter who used to visit him in prison. He apparently wrote her a love letter before his death, signed, “with love, from Your Valentine.”
The commercialization of the holiday may have begun with the start of mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards by Hallmark Cards in 1913, though handmade Valentine’s cards have been in use in Europe since the Middle Ages.
In modern times, the Valentine’s Day holiday continues to be fun, romantic and magical. It’s a day that is filled with potential for those who are single, and for those who already have a special someone it’s a day to shower their lover with affection and gifts (often red roses, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and gifts of sparkling jewelry)!
To make this Valentine’s Day one to remember, try the following:
Look and Feel Your Best
Look and Feel Your Best
Take some time to groom and style yourself this Valentine’s Day. Pick out an outfit to wear that day that you feel good in and know you look great in. Spritz on a favorite fragrance before leaving the house. Eat a healthy breakfast, and get a good night’s sleep beforehand. When you look and feel your best, you’re that much more likely to enjoy your day, regardless of your relationship status. You’ll be ready to meet that special someone if you’re single, and you’re sure to impress your significant other if you’re already in a relationship.
If you want to show someone how much you care this Valentine’s Day, buy that card early so you can take time to craft just the right wording to express your love. Make that reservation at your favorite special restaurant for Valentine’s dinner. Place that order with the florist for her favorite flowers to be delivered to her at work. Find out what kind of jewelry she has her heart set on this year (or, read our previous blog post for ideas on Valentine’s Day gifts). Has she been dropping hints about sparkling diamond earrings, or a beautiful necklace? Or is it time for you to “pop the question” and surprise her with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring? Planning ahead will ensure that your loved one knows you have been thinking of them and will make them feel so special and loved!
Think of Others First
Some people opt out of the Valentine’s holiday, complaining about how commercialized it is, but the truth is that Valentine’s Day is a day to show others how much you love them! So take a wider view and make it a point to share the love this year. You could even make a list of everyone who is special to you so you don’t forget anyone! By thinking of others first, you’ll be reminded of just how lucky you are to have so many wonderful people in your life, and your heart will be filled with gratitude, whether you’re currently in a romantic relationship or not.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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