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What Do You Know About St. Valentine’s Day?

You know how important the day is to ideals of romance and love, and you might love the celebration of the day for that, or you just might hate it for the same reason.

But what do you really know about this day and why red, pink, and white suddenly become the décor everywhere, and satin covered, heart boxes of chocolates appear?

Saint Valentine

February 14 is His Feast Day

For those unfamiliar with “feast days”, these are days set aside in the Church calendar to celebrate specific events and, in this case, a saint of the Catholic church. Because the Catholic (Christian) faith was replacing the pagan beliefs of an area and culture, the days chosen for some feast days of the Church were to supersede those of the local religion . Sometimes the two muddled up and the old traditions continued under the new holiday.

The story of the Saint, himself, is somewhat mysterious. Little account is given of his life and what is told is mainly legend. Valentine, Presbyter of Rome is considered the saint that is commemorated on February 14, and there are stories of his kindness to young people in love.

One source tells it this way:

The Story of St. Valentine

“In 270 A.D., marriage had been outlawed by the emperor of Rome, Claudius II. Claudius issued this decree because he thought that married men made bad soldiers since they were reluctant to be torn away from their families in the case of war. Claudius had also outlawed Christianity in this time period because he wished to be praised as the one supreme god, the Emperor of Rome. Valentine was the bishop of Interamna during this period of oppression. Valentine thought that the decrees of Rome were wrong. He believed that people should be free to love God and to marry. Valentine invited the young couples of the area to come to him. When they came, Valentine secretly performed services of matrimony and united the couples. ” [2*]

He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.

The time of the feast day coincides with an old pagan celebration. Lupercalia, which falls at the ides of February, or February 15, was a fertility and romantic match ritual which later became replaced with the official feast of St. Valentine.

*2 cite: Lutheran Ministry

Valentine’s Day – What’s on Your Romance List?

Valentine's dinner with two glasses of wine and a mountain airbnb view

Do You Celebrate Saint Valentine?

How do you observe this holiday?

As Shakespeare said:

“Sweets to the sweet.”


Hearts, Flowers, and Chocolate – Valentine’s Day Gift Favorites

Everyone thinks of hearts as the Valentine’s Day symbol, and flowers as the perfect gift especially when partnered with chocolates.

And then, there are flowers made from chocolate.

Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets Sweetheart Candy Bouquet, 1 Dozen Red Chocolate Roses
Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets Sweetheart Candy Bouquet, 1 Dozen Red Chocolate Roses This is a romantic way to present chocolate candy. Almost too pretty to eat…but it will get eaten!

Delightful Valentine’s Day Chocolates – Heart-shaped and delicious

Heart Shaped Truffle Assortment - 9 Chocolate Truffles for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day
Heart Shaped Truffle Assortment – 9 Chocolate Truffles for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day

For any special day comes this box of special chocolates, crafted in designer looks, and handmade out of premium dark chocolate. Orange, Raspberry, Chocolate and Espresso centers.

Kate Greenaway Valentine

Kate Greenaway Valentine

The Valentine Card

Have you heard of Esther Howland? If you love sending and receiving Valentine’s cards in the United States, she is partly responsible. She helped to pioneer the Valentine greeting industry.

It probably helped that her family owned the largest book and stationery store in the town of Worcester, Massachusetts, but it was the charming Valentine sent from England by one of her father’s associates that sparked her love affair with Valentines and her career of making beautiful Valentines that popularized them throughout the United States.

Esther Howland was not the first to make or send Valentines, but she created lovely ones that captured the imagination and heart of the American public. Today examples of her New England Valentine Company are highly collectible- if you can find them. They may be exhibited in museum collections. These were not ordinary cards, but artistic flights of fancy and imagination, some with many layers, customizable with labels and mottoes to express the desired intent; constructed with paper lace, die cut graphics, and luxurious embellishments.

How do you observe this holiday?

Red Roses – Valentine’s Day Tradition

Red roses always say romance and passion.
1-800-Flowers - Rose Elegance Premium Long Stem Red Roses - 12 Stem Red Roses
1-800-Flowers – Rose Elegance Premium Long Stem Red Roses – 12 Stem Red Roses If ever there were a classic Valentine’s Day gift, it must be a dozen red roses.
For those who wish to send something pretty – Flowers are one of the most welcome Valentine gifts

S.W.A.K. Valentine Red Lipstick Sticker

Old Fashioned Flowers

Victorian Romance Roses
Victorian Romance Roses

Fresh flowers are welcome for every occasion. Romantic Victorian roses max the message.

Valentine Candy – Conversation Hearts say it all

candy conversation hearts
candy conversation hearts

The makers of NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts have stolen the hearts of many people who love to send their little messages. They have become iconic of Valentine’s Day.

What is your favorite conversation heart message? Classics are “Kiss Me,” “Sweet Talk,” and “Be Mine.”, but every year a new batch of mottoes to their mix.

A Valentine Haiku

Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts

Sugary and sweet,

Holding your heart in my hand

Thank you for the treat!


~~~~~~Valentine Statistics~~~~~~

Half of all celebrants said they will buy candy, 36 percent will buy flowers and 35.6 percent will treat someone to a nice evening out.

~NRF 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey

~~~~~~Favorite Conversation Heart Sayings~~~~~~







Romantic Valentine Ideas

Here are some suggestions to make your day special, or use them to jumpstart your own unique plans for a memorable February 14th.

  1. Plan a Valentine Picnic – this one is easy, and fun!
  2. Handmade gifts if you have time. Are you crafty? Use your talents to make something from the heart.
  3. Valentine breakfast, like the picnic, but you get to make those fabulous waffles you always planned on trying.
  4. No time for breakfast, and the weather just doesn’t feel like picnic time? Cook up a romantic valentine dinner.
  5. Visit someplace that you both found romantic, or watch a romantic movie together.
  6. Write an Old Fashioned love letter. Tie it with a satin ribbon.
  7. Rose Petals- buy them, and strew them around the tables, the floor, the counters.
roses say I love you

Include flower meanings in a note

Florists Send Your Message in Flowers

You can add the flower meanings

This is a busy day for florists. Flowers are one of the number one gifts to give for Valentine’s day, often in tandem with chocolate candy. Besides the iconic one dozen red roses, there are many types and style of flower bouquets and one very romantic floral arrangement would have to be the Victorian Tussy Mussy. Using the language of flowers, a secret and romantic message may be sent, and decoded by your own special Valentine.

The nosegay is small, but very fragrant, and just the right touch for a Valentine Day gift of flowers.

Red roses stand for passion and love, but what do other flowers represent?

  • Carnation, red — “Alas for my poor heart”
  • China Pink rose — Beauty always new
  • Chrysanthemum — Love
  • Clover, four leaved — “Be mine”
  • Coreopsis — Love at first sight
  • Daisy — Innocence, new-born, “I share your sentiment”
  • Fern — Sincerity
  • Forget-Me-Not — True love
  • Gardenia — Ecstasy
  • Pansy — “I am always thinking of you”
  • Heather — Admiration
  • Ivy — Fidelity, friendship, marriage
  • Jasmine — Grace
  • White Lily — Purity, modesty

Find more on the Tussy Mussy hub, or in books available on the topic.

You May Learn More About Love Letter Valentines

Godiva Chocolate for Your Valentine – Smooth High Quality Chocolate

There is a difference, and better chocolate is worth the price difference. You can read about Chocolate history on the Godiva website. Did you know Spain kept the discovery of chocolate a secret from the rest of Europe for more than a century?

Godiva, Gourmet Chocolate, Unique Multi Tier, Four Level Gift Box Filled with 36 Premium Assorted Godiva Truffles
Godiva, Gourmet Chocolate, Unique Multi Tier, Four Level Gift Box Filled with 36 Premium Assorted Godiva Truffles

Godiva- smooth, fine chocolate that is always welcome.

What says "romance" to you?

Traditions of St. Valentine’s Day – How we commonly celebrate the holiday

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Cartoon is Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

It is considered a day for lovers, so every February 14th flowers are given, sweets and candies presented, and greeting cards, which are called “Valentines” , are sent with romantic greetings. A romantic meal with a special dessert , often made with chocolate, is part and parcel of the day.

But not only lovers celebrate the day. In schools, children often send valentines to every one in the class, and I have old memories of making “Valentine boxes”. Old shoe boxes with a letter sized hole cut into the lid, and covered with all sorts of gaudy Valentine decorations. These were to be the receptacle for the many little valentines that were customarily given. Cupcakes were often served to everyone.

Most Valentine greetings are now printed commercial cards, but in times past the tradition making homemade Valentines out of red paper and white paper doilies was common. These were decorated with bits and bobs of decorative paper ephemera, usually of birds, flowers, and cupids, and sometimes with pictures of young children or pets.

There also was the tradition of the “Vinegar Valentines” which we might deem “anti Valentine” cards. I always knew them as “Penny Dreadfuls”, but that is the term given a type of Victorian thriller fiction.

Indiana University has a collection of Valentine cards and history.

Some People Hate Valentine’s Day

Does that describe you? There are many reasons to hate a holiday. Sometimes the associations of disappointed hopes, or heightened expectations ruin the holiday for you. There are probably many reasons for antipathy towards Valentine’s Day.
Some people deal with that feeling of pain or dislike with Anti-valentines, even anti -Valentine activities.

If you are curious about those who decide to poke fun at this holiday, ‘Be My Anti-Valentine’ once provided some insights, maybe some laughs depending on your idea of humor. It is a site that seems to have closed, now, but there are plenty of people who wrote about those black-humored digital cards.


Geoffrey Chaucer

recorded the first Valentine connection with romance:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

February 14 – is also known for some wacky holidays

  1. Ferris Wheel Day
  2. Library Lovers Day
  3. National Have a Heart Day
  4. Quirky Alone Day
  5. World Marriage Day

Originally published by Ilona Erwin on Squidoo .com @ 01/03/12