When I was in elementary school Valentine’s Day was one of my top five favorite holidays. There were cards, flowers, candy hearts, and the possibility that my crush might actually like me back. Every February, across the country, flowers, candy hearts, and chocolate are exchanged by couples on a day intended just for the sole purpose of being romantic and receiving gifts, all in the name of St. Valentine. What we are not taught when we are little is that Valentine’s Day was not originally about romance and celebrating your significant other, but a gruesome, religious tale. But who is this mysterious St. Valentine and where did these traditions come from?
The history of St. Valentine comes with many legends. One legend is told that in the third century, Valentine was a priest who served in Rome. An emperor, Claudius II, decided that men with wives and a family would not make good soldiers compared to those who were single. Therefore, marriage was forbidden for young men in this time period. Valentine saw the injustice of the law and went against Claudius continuing to perform marriages in secret. When the saint’s rebellious actions were exposed, Claudius ordered that he be martyred.
While many believe that this holiday is celebrated on February 14 to commemorate the death of Valentine, others believe that the roots of this day lie in the Christianization of the ancient festival Lupercalia.
Before his death on February 14, it is suggested that the priest sent the first “Valentine’s Day card” to his jailor’s daughter signed “Your Valentine”. Now when you ask that special someone to be your valentine, you will have a wealth of knowledge of where this tradition came from.
Some would say that vday is a money-guzzling marketing holiday, made just for couples to show their affection for one another one day a year, but like other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or Easter, Valentine’s Day has made its way into pop culture. Yes, chocolate and flowers are nice, but the next time you celebrate with your loved ones, you should be mindful of its true origin. It is not always about the gifts, but so much more.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
For more information watch this video: History of Valentine’s Day
I never knew about the history behind Valentines Day! That’s interesting and love hearing about origins of holidays and stuff! Great post. Thanks for sharing.
I think this article makes a great point! Corporate brands definitely take advantage of events such as Valentine’s Day, appealing to consumers’ emotions in attempt to make money. Pop culture even makes consumers feel bad if they don’t take part in events such as Valentine’s, Halloween, or Christmas, even though purchasing gifts is not the original “reason for the season”.
This discussion of Valentine’s Day was very eye-opening. I agree that this holiday is somewhat mushy and people will find an excuse to celebrate just about anything without knowing any history about the holiday. I actually was not aware of the history behind it, but I have never been huge about celebrating Valentine’s day, it’s just a day for mushy lovers to post about it all over Instagram.
Wow, this was really interesting to me! I genuinely, at 20 years old, did not know the true origin behind Valentine’s Day. This is only my second Valentine’s in a relationship, and my boyfriend and I love to cook dinner and go see a movie. However, now when I think about Valentine’s Day I can throw my origin story knowledge at family and friends. I wish this would’ve been taught to us in Elementary school because it’s really interesting and important to history!
I agree with everything you have said. Valentine’s day is completely a “Hallmark Holiday” derived from it’s true meaning just to bring in revenue. I think that people need to be educated on the history of that day. I knew that it was pretty much a made up holiday, but I never knew the basis of this until reading your article. I believe that this is an unnecessary holiday because we should be showing the people we care about how much we love them all year round.
I think that it’s weird that we celebrate Valentine’s Day on the day of his death as opposed to the day of his birth. Nonetheless, knowing the history behind the holiday makes things more interesting!
When we were younger Valentine’s Day was a day with presents and lovers. But now that I am older, I think Valentine’s day has got an other purpose. I live in Europe where we don’t celebrate this day this big. Here in America it became a sort of marketing day. This because every brand can make a lot of money just to anticipate to this day.
We spend a lot of money on this day, but for what? I actually don’t do it for my loved ones, I just do it because everyone is doing it. I feel the pressure of buying roses and cards for everyone. If you don’t you are a sort of outsider. The big brands know how to deal with this. They try to persuade you to buy things for Valentine’s Day because you see those products everywhere.
The value of Valentine’s Day have become less, the advertisements about Valentine’s Day have increased.
I think that how Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide its breathtaking. As mentioned, people think of this days for giving put flowers, chocolates and presents to their loved one to show how much they love them. I can say, that we have been victims of this “cute” story of showing love to others, instead of the real meaning behind it and its significance for history.
This was a really helpful article and something I never knew about before! I wish that I had been taught about this during a history class around Valentine’s Day to know one of the possible meanings of the day. You are absolutely right when you say that this day has been a “marketing holiday” because when I have walked into stores even after Christmas they had already begun putting out things for Valentine’s Day, and now it is hard to walk into a store without pink, red, hearts, flowers, chocolates, and cards not thrown right in your face. Thanks for sharing!
An interesting topic! I feel like a lot of our traditions have these rich histories to them but we never seek them out and we celebrate them in ignorance. There’s a lot of details about how they came to be that inform a lot about how society conducts itself in the modern day. Of course, it’s only good marketing to take advantage of this history for profit. Even so, it’s always important to remember our roots so that we don’t get lost in the corporate advertising.
This post is very informative. I honestly had no idea about the history behind Valentine’s day because I have never been a fan. While others make it a big deal to get their significant other presents for Valentine’s Day, I’d rather get candy or flowers randomly. The history behind Valentine’s day that I discovered through this post has made me think less about the cliche meaning of Valentine’s Day, and more about the history behind it.
I like the way you started this by tying back to elementary school days. This opening made me want to keep reading and see where you were taking me. I like the history you incorporated, it shows the time and dedication you have in this post and gives me a new perspective on the holiday.
Personally, I think that Valentine’s day is all about money just like many other holidays that we celebrate each the year. I feel as though it is just a superficial way to take advantage of the feelings that people want to be experiencing on a day to day basis. When I am in a relationship with someone, I make sure to give them the feeling of love and affection as often as I can. Somehow, someone saw an opportunity to take a day based entirely on feelings and personal connection with a significant other, and turned it into a market. Nowadays, if you don’t buy a girl a valentine’s day gift while you are together, you will surely be in big trouble. There is a high pressure on men because girls look forward to this day all year. They compare gifts and post pictures online to show that someone does in fact like them, as if everyone else needed that seal of approval. The whole thing is a bit too fake and materialistic to me; I wish that men and women would take the amount of love that they show on that one day (because they feel obligated to) and show that same level of affection and sincerity every day throughout the year. If there is a couple that can’t and feel as if Valentine’s Day is their one opportunity of the year to go out as a couple and celebrate their being together, I would argue that they are not a good couple and should probably explore other options where love will not require such an extreme effort on a daily basis.
I agree, I do not think Valentine’s Day was created to spend quality time or doing something generous for your partner. I believe that it was created as a way for people to spend more money on their significant other. It also targeted children, parent have to buy candy and small Valentine cards for their kids to pass out to other children in school. Ads are all over the TV and every social platform promoting products like cars, jewelry, dinner, and candy. I guess people spending money on Black Friday and Christmas just wasn’t enough.
I actually never considered the possibility that valentine’s day was not founded by pop culture. I always thought that this was just another money-guzzling thing to benefit the marketers. Obviously, it has become an event that marketers are willing to promote their chocolate. But I guess as a society we have to appreciate more the value behind this day and just enjoy it.
Wow! I will never think of Valentine’s Day in the same way. Personally, I have never been too big on the idea of Valentine’s Day to begin with. I have never really made a big deal out of this day, even when I have been in a romantic relationship. I always found it very interesting and even a bit silly to see others spending lots of money on their partners, and even taking Feb 14th off of work to spend the day together. For me, a box of chocolate is about as extravagant as it gets. However, even having these views on Valentine’s Day, I never really knew the history or the story behind it all. It was super interesting to read your post about this. It blows my mind to think about how this day is celebrated as a day of love and happiness, when in reality it is the anniversary of someone’s death! I am looking forward to showing my knowledge tomorrow, and maybe filling some other people in on the true origin of Valentine’s Day!
I found this post to be reminiscent and interesting. I vividly remember picking out cards and candies to give my classmates when I was younger. I always wanted to give the nicest cards and candy out. What I found interesting was how how valentines day came to be. I never knew of the religious background that it had. I also agree that valentines day is not just about candy, flowers, and gifts, but about showing appreciation to the people you love the most!
Wow! I really loved the attention getter, how you tied it into being relatable to the reader. I never knew the actual orgins of Valentine’s Day. It’s crazy how much we tell each other we love them because a guy got killed. Now every time Valentine’s Day comes around I will always have that in the back of my mind, which isn’t a bad thing, I think it’s always a good idea to know why we do the things that we do.
While I previously knew that Valentine was a saint, I was never informed on what he actually did to warrant so much attention. I think the author makes a great point in this piece by drawing comparisons between Valentine’s Day and the other holidays that have been commercialized. Too many times we allow ourselves to get sucked into the markets that use holidays to their advantage; like Black Friday shopping deals, July 4th car/mattress sales, Christmas toys/food/decorations, Valentine’s Day restaurant discounts/candy sales, etc. While all of this is a problem for our society and future generations, I don’t see us changing any time soon.
Before anything else, great post, you are an impressive writer and thank you for sharing that with us! When I was in elementary school, we were educated on the origins of Valentines day. However, growing up I have sense forgotten the true meaning behind it. With all the advertising, memes, and pop culture, that you presented, it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important. I feel this happens with many other holidays, specifically Christmas. Perhaps without all the negative connotations that follow Valentines day, including the “money guzzling” persona, our consumer driven society could learn to appreciate their significant other and friends more often. Again, thank you for reminding me about the roots of this holiday.
Happy Valentines day
I think this was a great article. I never knew anything about the true meaning of it and why it came to be but that was very interesting. It probably hasn’t been said yet, but I think it is so weird that Valentine’s Day falls on his day of death! You would think it would be on his day of birth, but that was really cool to learn! The beginning of the post also brought me back to the good days of being in elementary school and coming home so full with sugar! Oh I miss that so much!
A very intriguing read! I must say I have never thought about the origins of Valentine’s Day. It is sad to see how far we, as a society, have strayed away from the true meaning of most of the holidays we celebrate. Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I will be sure to keep the historical origin in the back of my mind as I get bombarded with chocolates and candy hearts walking down Chancellors!
I was surprised to hear that Valentine’s day is for couples to show their affection for one another because the day is not only for couples but also girls to declare their love to boys in Japan, my home country. I think IMC changes depends on the culture, too
This brings up a great point as to how much history many of the holidays we celebrate have, and that many people have no clue of their origins. It is very interesting too how they evolve throughout the years. It makes you wonder if the future generations will be celebrating new holidays in the next couple days. The origin stories for holidays can be very surprising but they should help you appreciate everything a little more.
Wow, I had no idea about the history of valentine’s day before now! Personally, I think it’s kind of pointless. You shouldn’t have just one day set aside to surprise your significant other with flowers and other things, but that’s just me.
Every year when Valentine’s Day comes across everyone thinks about that special person that life that lights up their world. Valentine’s Day like any other holiday when you were a child felt so much better and was filled with excitement in my opinion . As you develop and get older the message may change about concerning what the holiday is really about. I feel as if the whole kid routine handing out candy to each other and receiving gifts set the table for how it should be in the future. I was pleased to find out the real history of Valentine’s Day in reference to the legends of the third century in Rome. I had no clue about the true origins and I simply thought that it was just a shadow holiday based around the people you love and care about. This goes to show that there is a lot of history behind a number of things in American culture and this is just one of them. Year after year people just go through the motions and do not realize what the holidays are really about. I do disagree with the article when they state that holidays are just a scheme. There are always specific items tied to certain events that are representative of what that day may be about.
Growing up, Valentines day was also one of my favorite holidays. I always loved the idea of a day specifically dedicated to the people you love the most. For some people, Valentines day is just about the chocolates, the candy, and the gift giving, even though it is supposed to mean way more than that. It is an amazing day to show your love and admiration for the people who make life way better. Knowing the history of this day is very intriguing because I had no idea about the origin of this day.
This is very interesting. I can’t say that I’m surprised by the grim origin of this holiday but I had no idea. It does beg the question of at what point did this become associated with romance and materialism. Perhaps this can turn the wheels of other great bloggers such as yourself.
This article was very informative on the fact that the reason of Valentine’s Day being made from the where about of its origins. How later on it is misperceived of not about love with significant other but how it has the opposite meaning of it orgination.
I honestly never once thought about how valentines day began or why it is a thing. I find this post very interesting and it actually makes me look at Valentines Day a little bit different than it did before. You also reminded me of some memories back in elementary school that I haven’t thought of in awhile. I would have to agree that it should not be all about what you purchase your significant other but the love you show and the appreciation a couple has for each other.
I honestly had no idea the origins of valentines day. I thought that it was just a holiday that corporations created for us to feel the need to spend more money on the people that we love. I think that the way Valentines Day has been marketed for as long as we have been alive at least makes it seem as though it’s only purpose is for us to buy flowers and chocolates. I had no idea of it’s truly special origins.
When I was younger, I never fully knew the background that Valentine’s Day had. I always handed out candy and cards to my friends and school and did not think anything of it. One day, my teacher gave us a history lesson about what Valentine’s Day is. I was surprised to find out that it was the history of someone’s death! Although it seems a little creepy that we celebrate this, we still find the time to spread love to our loved ones with flowers, cards, and candy.
I never knew that the origin of Valentine’s day was actually celebrating someone’s death. A lot of Holidays are so commercialized now and not really about the actual meaning of the holiday. After reading this I would like to find out what other Holidays are “money-guzzling marketing holidays”.
I was very intrigued by this post. I personally never heard about the history of Valentines Day. I remember growing up it was something that would always be celebrated by trading valentines, candies, and other goodies with all of your classmates. As I got older it became a lot more personal. To me, it became a Holiday to celebrate the people I love most. Now I wouldn’t go around giving flowers, candy, and long letters to all of my friends/classmates. I just celebrate it with one person. The history behind this day was very interesting to me but throughout this post I couldn’t stop comparing Valentine’s Day from how it is now to how it was when I was growing up.
This article was really intriguing because it opens up a history that’s not usually taught. I thought it was quite interesting because it wasn’t the back story I wasn’t expecting. I think it’s important to keep everyone knowledgeable about history because it’s still relevant today in a sense… it created something super celebrated today. Although it’s mostly about chocolates and flowers now I’m glad I finally know what really went down the first Valentines day.
Very interesting! I did not know Valentines day had a gruesome origin. I have used to be a fan of Valentines when I was younger, I loved getting candy and giving candy out to my friends. However, now that I am older I think Valentines day is silly. If you really love someone you shouldn’t need a set day to show them how much you love them… show them everyday.
I did not know the origin of Valentine’s Day and I thought this was very interesting. I think the true origin brings more meaning into the holiday to me than before because I was very cynical about people in romantic relationships being celebrated for a whole day. However, the confession and battle for love fought by Valentine inspires me to have a deeper appreciation for the close relationships around me, even if they are not romantic. I wish that this holiday was not so commercialized and we could really use this day (and everyday) to appreciate the ones we love.
This history is so interesting! I had always heard the story of St.Valentine Running the snakes out of Ireland, but this story makes a lot more sense. Now that Valentine’s Day is such a marketed holiday, I think that it is important to remember its origin, whatever it may be.
I love this article because most people have no idea Valentine’s day has any origin other than one created by corporations to make money! It is nice to know that there is some sentimental value to valentine’s day, I now most of us would rather celebrate love with your significant rather than just the giving of gifts.
I always knew that St. Valentine was going against the law of time, but I never knew about him exchanging a “Valentine” with his jailer’s daughter! Valentine’s day has always been an interesting holiday, but I also never knew about the Christianization of Lupercalia. There’s so much more to Valentine’s day that a lot of people don’t know and it’s always interesting to learn about the underlying reasons for the holiday.
I thought this was a very well written article. I always liked Valentine’s Day as a holiday, but never knew where it originated from. Now to actually know the history, is very cool. It is interesting how a holiday can be rooted in such odd history. I am glad to finally know just a little bit more about the history of Valentine’s Day
Who would have thought that a holiday about love would have a such a violent history. It was an interesting read and I am glad I got to learn about the holidays origin
When I think of Valentines Day, I get the sense of love filled in the air. Though is it just like any other day, It is one of my favorites. Receiving flowers and chocolates is a plus to your days. Hearing the history of Valentines day brings about a totally different concept and it is interesting to see how the times has changed with it.
With this history, I do agree that the rule of a younger man not being able to marry is absurd just because of the use of war. Man have times changed.
This was a very enlightening article! I always knew there was some origin story to Valentine’s day that people don’t really talk about but I never actually looked into it. Honestly, I’m glad somehow turned Valentine’s Day into something positive even though it has such a gruesome history. However, America has a notorious tendency to over-commercialize all the good things in life. I love love day until I’m hit in the face with all the marketing and advertisements trying to get me to buy something that will apparently “make my love life better” or whatever concept they’re trying to sell. I try my best to ignore that stuff to focus on just dishing out genuine love to my friends and family and even strangers. Without all the commercialization, Valentine’s Day has the great potential to do something good and positive in the world.