INTERNATIONAL DAY OF LOVE
Jewellery, chocolates, red roses and love
It’s that time of the year again. 14 February. The International Day of Love.
In the past, Christmas Day has been the clear winner for the most popular day to get engaged. But in 2021 Valentine’s Day took the top spot as the most popular day to get engaged. Receiving a ring sure beats a box of chocolates or bouquet of red roses, doesn’t it?
If we stay true to the meaning of Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect day to express (or confess) your love to someone, and to support this feeling you can give them chocolates, letters, flowers or even a diamond ring.
This day may well be associated with romance but Valentine’s Day history goes way back and the origins of Valentine's Day are not clear.
Many sources believe that it stems from the story of St Valentine, a Roman priest. Unlike the meaning of Valentine’s Day, we use today, the real legend is centuries old. The original story comes from the third century AD. The story is about a bishop called Valentinus or Valentine. This bishop believed in true love and performed weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry, because of a Roman emperor edict decreeing married soldiers did not make good warriors and thus young men could not marry. This Saint Valentine wore a ring with a Cupid on it—a symbol of love—that helped soldiers recognize him. And, in a precursor to greeting cards, he handed out paper hearts to remind Christians of their love for God. Cupid, the most popular symbol of Valentine’s Day is known as the son of Venus who is the goddess of love and beauty. In roman mythology, Cupid is known as the god of affection. Which is why it makes sense for him to be the symbol of love. Legend states that whoever gets hit by cupid’s magical love arrows will cause the two people to fall deeply in love! In modern day art, during the 14th and 17th centuries, painters created a symbol of cupid as an angel baby with a diaper on. He would carry a heart shaped arrow that had an end to make people fall in love, but also had a blunt edge that would make people fall out of it. The same baby began to appear on cards and Valentine’s Day memorabilia during the late 1800’s.
Because of this legend, St. Valentine became known as the patron saint of love. The Saint Valentine prayer asks Saint Valentine to connect lovers together, so that two become one, and the couple remembers their devotion to God.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day, and since then, February 14th has been a day of celebration. Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century.
Valentine’s Day in its modern American form can be traced as far back as the mid-19th century. In 1847, Esther Howard, the daughter of a printer, became inspired to mass-produce Valentine’s Day cards after receiving a lacey love note from England in her new homeland of America.
According to others the ancient Roman calendar called Lupercalia fell on 14 February —which some historians believe is what led to Valentine's Day being all about love. Lupercalia celebrated fertility, and may have included a ritual in which men and women were paired off by choosing names from a jar. In Ancient Greece, people observed a mid-winter celebration for the marriage of the god Zeus and the goddess Hera.
Physicians of the 1800s commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for a lost love. In the 1890s, Cadbury was the first manufacturer to produce heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates, which the romantic Victorians went crazy for. Today, 35 million+ heart-shaped boxes are sold every year.