Valentine's Day is nearly here. For lovers everywhere, it's a chance to express deep, romantic feelings. For single people, it's a chance to celebrate the fact they're still single!
But that's not all there is to this day. Valentine's is not just for lovers; it's for families and friends and celebrating every kind of love.
But how did this day become a hallmark holiday? And why has it become consumed by chocolate, cards, and flowers? For this article, we have gathered the essential historical facts about Valentine's Day.
St Valentine – The Namesake of the day
To use the day's official name, the feast of St Valentine is a Christian saint's day. It originated through the part-mythologised Valentinus. According to Catholic tradition, he was martyred on the 14th of February by the Romans.
Though there are some slight discrepancies in his identity, the figure gained popularity.
In 496 CE, Pope Gelasius I venerated the 14th of February as Valentine's feast day, as it was the day of his death. Morbid as that is, it's common to play for a saint's feast day.
From Martyrdom to Marriage – How Valentine became the patron of Lovers?
Valentine is not only the saint of love. He is the patron of Terni, a small town in Italy. He also looks after the epileptic and beekeepers!
His association with love came about in the 14th-15th centuries. Before this time, legends and myths often associated Valentine's with Spring. It wasn't until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentine's Day" in the 14th century that this connection began to grow.
This is a further divide between Catholic Christians and Eastern Greek Orthodox Christians. For one thing, Eastern Orthodoxy celebrates this feast on the 6th and 30th of July.
Valentine's Day Today – Flowers, Chocolates and Cupid's Wings
As the centuries passed, the world became more secularised and commercial. So the idea of Valentine's being anything but a romance holiday faded away.
Today, it's almost impossible to know anyone who still celebrates the holiday as the oncoming of Spring. Great writers like Shakespeare and John Donne have spoken of its importance. Even the cliché "roses are red" poems litter the field by associating the day with romance.
The exchange of Valentine's cards comes from an old Victorian tradition. Charles Dickens coined it as being "Cupid's Manufactor". Entire businesses are dedicated to making cards growing out of a desire to share the love in one's heart.
Cadbury's chocolate company presented the first-ever box of chocolates in a heart-shaped container in 1886. Since then, the tradition has become a staple of the holiday.
And naturally, flowers are a perfect addition to all these traditions.
Love the World This Valentine's Day
We know that you're anxious to get your spouse, lover or friends a gift this Valentine's. Like it or not, the day has become associated with roses for love and other romantic gifts.
Why not then give a present that will last longer than a day?
Infinity roses are guaranteed to last up to a year with minimal maintenance. Our fair trade and sustainable business practices ensure that we keep a carbon-neutral approach to the flower trade.
Don't give flowers that will be thrown away quicker than a broken heart. Grant your loved ones the gift of eco flowers that make a difference.