One celebration out of the way, another one comes up quickly which is why we are already talking about Valentine's Day!
Saint Valentine Day is celebrated by couples in many countries across the world on the 14th February although over the years the true meaning appears to have been lost. St Valentine's Day began as a celebration of a Christian saint named Valentinus. Legend says that when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men make better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young men.
Saint Valentine realised the injustice of this and defied the Emperor to perform weddings for soldiers who had been forbidden to marry. Saint Valentines was then imprisoned for this and sentenced to death. It was believed that during his imprisonment, it was believed he wrote letters to the daughter of his jailer, signing them as 'from your Valentine' in farewell.
Some people believe that the reason Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February is to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death which occurred around 270 A.D. However, as with much of the origins of Valentine's Day, this has never been proven and it's difficult to find out exactly why it is celebrated in February, or even why it is celebrated at all!
The actual history of Valentine's Day is very mysterious, whilst there are lots of speculative stories, there is nothing 'concrete'. What we do know is that February is celebrated as the month of 'love'. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become the Saint of love?
The Catholic church is said to recognise at least three different Saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were Martyrs. One was believed to be a Priest who served during the third century in Rome.
Valentine's Day really started to be celebrated in the UK around the 17th Century and by the middle of the 18th Century, it was common for lovers to exchange tokens of affection or handmade cards. By the 1900s, printing technology had improved and printed cards replaced old written letters. A ready-made card was considered to be an easier way for people to express their emotions during an era whereby expressing feelings was discouraged.
According to Greeting Card associations, the Valentine's card industry is worth close to £1 billion, with more people investing in it every year. Does your business celebrate Valentine's Day? What do you do to commemorate the day?