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History of Valentine's Day

Holidays Explained > History of Valentine's Day



 Valentine's Day Decorations

 What is Valentine’s Day?

Saint Valentine’s Day, or more commonly known as Valentine’s Day, is a holiday celebrated worldwide on February 14th annually. It is a popularized holiday that celebrates love and affection between couples and even friends. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD.

Where is it celebrated?

It is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia, and more and more so in Asia, as well.

What is the history of this holiday?

Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine

Legends of the romantic origin of our holiday ties back to a priest named Valentine who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men and their lovers. When the Roman Emperor found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he was said to have written the first "valentine" card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer's daughter whom he had befriended and healed, or possibly both. It was a letter that read "From your Valentine,” an expression still used today. Although the legends of the truth behind Valentine are murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and romantic figure.

By the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death which occurred around 270 A.D. Others say that the Christian church have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February as an effort to “christianize” celebrations. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. It was also later believed that February 14th marked the beginning of the mating seasons for birds, which added to the idea the Valentine’s Day should be a day celebrating romance.

Valentine’s Day was becoming such a celebrated and popularized holiday that by mid-eighteenth century, it was common for friends, lovers in all social classes to exchange tokens of affections and handwritten letters. In the 1840’s, Esther A. Howland was the first person to sell mass-produced valentine’s cards.


Valentine's Day Esther A. Howland Cards
Esther A. Howland Valentine's Cards

How is it celebrated?

Traditionally, this is a day where lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, giving chocolates or sweets, sending valentine’s greeting cards. Sometimes people would prefer to make these chocolates, sweets, and valentine’s cards by hand instead of purchasing store bought, ready made products. Ever since the 19th century, handwritten Valentine’s Day cards have slowly made way for mass-produced greeting cards. Some symbols that we use to associate with Valentine’s Day are heart-shapes, doves, Cupid, and the color red or pink.                           

Nowadays, the U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US alone. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually these go to children. In schools, teachers usually include valentine cards exchanging activity for their students. They would also decorate their classrooms and even give sweets or chocolates to each other. Students are often encouraged to mention what they like or appreciate about each other and to use it as practice for writing. Millions of people would also make use of the internet to send Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons, or printable greeting cards. In the last year, there was an estimated 15 million e-valentines sent throughout the world.

Decorating for this holiday

There are many decorative items available for Valentine’s Day in recent years as Valentine’s sale has been steady if not getting better. Back in the day all that was expected and made were Valentine’s Day cards, chocolates, or other small gift items that conveys one’s love to the gift receiver. Now people might throw small Valentine’s Day parties or decorate their homes as a surprise to their loved ones.

Valentine's Day Candy Conversation Hearts
Candy Conversation Hearts

Candles, balloons, stuffed animals, and novelty items such as conversation hearts or ring pops are usually used to decorate a romantic setting or given as gifts to each other.

Roses play a big part for Valentine’s Day as it is recognized as the flower that represents love and romance. Hang banners on doorways or on walls to add more red and festiveness into the atmosphere. The idea is to have hearts and the color red or pink seen everywhere! To make things more personal, get a Valentine card making kit and customize a card for your loved ones or friends. Start thinking of the best Valentine’s Day surprise for your Valentine and see our Valentine’s shop to gather up the decorations!  

Interesting facts

- This holiday is jokingly called “Singles Awareness Day” as people who are single are said to not enjoy this holiday as much as they believe it is one to celebrate a couple’s love for each other.

- According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.

- Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.

 Visit our blog for more tips on how to decorate for Valentine's Day!

A sneak peek into our blog...

February 14, 2013 ~ Happy Valentine's Day From HomeSeasons!

HomeSeasons would like to wish everyone a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! ♥ Whether you’re celebrating with your sweetheart, family, or dearest friends, we want you to know that you are loved!

February 13, 2013 ~ Rose Themed Valentines Day Ideas

Everything's coming up roses for Valentine's Day! We're sharing some rose themed Valentine's Day ideas in our newest blog post!

February 12, 2013 ~ 3 Cute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Couples to Share

This year, why not give your Valentine a present that you both can enjoy? Check out our newest post for 3 gift ideas meant for sharing!

February 11, 2013 ~ Romantic Valentine's Day Tablescapes and Settings

Decorate your table for a beautiful Valentine's Day dinner with your sweetheart! More ideas in the blog post!

February 8, 2013 ~ Lovely Valentine Macarons

Check out some of our favorite Valentine's Day macaron finds in our newest blog post! Valentine's Day is next week, are you ready to spend this holiday with your Valentine sweetheart?

February 7, 2013 ~ Picks for Valentine's Day Flicks

Cozy up on the couch and enjoy a movie on Valentine's Day! Here are some of our favorite romantic movie picks for you to watch! Share with us your favorite romantic movie for Valentine's Day in the comment section. We'd love to hear more suggestions!

February 6, 2013 ~ Valentine's Day Hanging Lanterns

Check out how to decorate our Holiday 9.5" Round Lanterns - Red (Set of 3) for Valentine's Day! We have some DIY tips in our blog to help you personalize these lanterns for you and your Valentine! They also make great home decorations for the holiday!

February 5, 2013 ~ Candy Conversation Heart Craft Ideas

Candy conversation hearts are not only yummy, but they make great craft supplies as well! Check out some of our favorite ideas we found on the internet to make your own for Valentine's Day! They make great home decor and gifts!

February 4, 2013 ~ Lovely Heart Surprise Cakes for Valentine's Day

Get inspired to create a surprise heart cake this Valentine's Day! We're sharing a few of our favorite cake finds from the internet! Make one to share with your special Valentine.

January 31, 2013 ~ Rose Colors and Their Meanings

Will you be sending your Valentine a bouquet of roses? Check out our post to learn a little more about the meanings of different colors of roses for Valentine's Day! Choose the perfect one for your special someone!

January 30, 2013 ~ Valentine's Day Hearty Breakfast Ideas

Serve your Valentine a hearty breakfast to start off the day! Check out our blog post for a few of our favorite heart filled breakfast ideas! Your Valentine will definitely feel the love!

January 29, 2013 ~ A Very Purple Valentine

Celebrate Valentine's Day this year with purple! Whether you decide to try the color on it's own, or to complement red and pink, purple is a great color to try! Use it in your home decor or in the gifts and food.

January 28, 2013 ~ Valentine's Day Inspired Cake Pops

Check out our newest blog post for our favorite Valentine's Day cake pop designs. Get inspired to decorate your own for the holiday to give to friends and family to show them your love!

February 14, 2012 ~ Happy Valentine's Day from HomeSeasons!

HomeSeasons would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! Keep checking on our blog in the future for more holiday themed ideas! Up next, we are planning a lot of St. Patrick's Day posts! Stay tuned for more holiday and holiday decorating ideas from HomeSeasons!

February 10, 2012 ~ Lovely Cupcake Inspirations for Your Valentine - Part 2

Check our our newest blog post for part 2 of our Lovely Valentine's Day cupcake inspirations! We love themed cupcakes just as much as anyone, so we thought we should share with you some of our favorite cupcake decorations for Valentine's Day. Visit our blog now for pictures and ideas for your Valentine!

February 9, 2012 ~ Yummy DIY Valentine's Day Marshmellow Pops

If you're a fan of marshmellows, visit our newest blog for a fun project! Learn how to DIY yummy marshmellow pops for Valentine's Day. They make great gifts to give to friends and family for the holiday. Or you can just share them with your Valentine!

February 7, 2012 ~ Lovely Cupcake Inspirations for Your Valentine

Check out our newest blog post for our first Valentine's Day cupcake inspiration post for the year! Get inspired to bake and decorate your own cupcakes to give to your loved ones for Valentine's Day. Everyone will love them! For more posts about Valentine's Day and other holidays, visit our blog!

February 3, 2012 ~ Home Decor Inspirations - Valentine's Day Table Decorations

Whether you're hosting a Valentine's dinner for just your better half or 10 of your closest family and friends, dining table decorations are a necessity! Visit our newest blog post for inspiration pictures to help give you some ideas! Get inspired to spoil your dinner guest(s) with loads of love!

February 2, 2012 ~ DIY Votive Candle Decorations to Light Up Your Valentine's Day

Check out our newest blog post for a fun DIY project to decorate your own votive candles for Valentine's Day. Fancy Valentine's Day candles can be costly, so why not DIY it. Light up this romantic occasion with unique votive candles you designed yourself for this holiday!

January 31, 2012 ~ Heart Shaped Red Velvet Cookies for Valentine's Day

If you're a fan of red velvet, you're gonna love our newest post! Check it out for a recipe to make heart shaped red velvet cookies to give out to friends and loved ones for Valentine's Day! They're tasty and a more thoughtful alternative to a box of store bought Valentine's Day chocolates!

January 27, 2012 ~ Valentine's Day Craft Project: Toilet Paper Tube Lovebug

One bug that we always welcome with open arms is the lovebug. Learn how to make your very own craft lovebug in today's blog post! You can find most of the supplies in your home and they are easy to make! Visit our blog for instructions to this project, along with many others!

January 25, 2012 ~ Valentine's Day Decoration & Gift Idea: DIY Scented Sachets

Check out our newest blog post for a DIY Valentine's Day project! Learn how to make a scented sachet to gift to friends and family as Valentine's Day gifts or use around your home as holiday decoration! They are easy to make and leave a lovely aroma in your home.

February 14, 2011 ~ Valentine's Day etiquettes!

Not sure what to do with or for your valentine today? Here’s an article that can help you fine tune appropriate Valentine’s Day ideas for a date and approaches toward your special someone.

February 14, 2011 ~ Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Have you use the Valentine’s Day decorating ideas we provided you? I hope you are spending this special holiday that celebrates love with your loved ones. If you are staying in and not hitting up the restaurants for a fancy dinner, you might be at home snuggling up in front of a fireplace with your beau, watching a movie together. For that I have found the top 10 romantic movies for today!

February 9, 2011 ~ Flowers and Valentine's Day

Flower wreaths in the shape of hearts have always been the symbollic gift choice for Valentine’s Day.  Take these ideas for your Valentine’s Day decorating! We have found some pictures to share to you. Hopefully these pictures can inspire you to find or make something nice for you valentine this year!