Celebrations of Love

12 Feb

The legend of St. Valentine is completely surrounded with mystery. Some stories say St. Valentine married young soldiers after it was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II in third century Rome. Claudius ordered that Valentine be put to death for it. Other stories suggest that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. One story says Valentine actually fell in love while imprisoned. According to this legend, the morning of his execution, Valentine sent his young love the first “valentine,” a letter signed, “From your Valentine.” Whoever he is, St. Valentine has become a symbolic story.

As the romantic notion of love continued to intertwine itself with the story of St. Valentine’s Day, a slew of traditions and symbols began to develop as well. Here are the stories and facts behind some of our favorite Valentine’s Day customs.

The story of red roses

red rose
“Roses are red, violets are blue…” In the 1700s Europe began exchanging flowers when Charles II of Sweden introduced the Persian custom of “the language of flowers,” each type of flower symbolizing something different. Why red? It is believed that the red rose, which symbolizes passion, is believed to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Goddess of Love and beauty.

The story of Valentine cards

card
Nope, Hallmark did not invent the custom of giving your sweetheart a Valentine’s Day card. Some people believe St. Valentine wrote the first Valentine. Others agree that the very first Valentine’s Day card was sent in 1415 by Charles, The Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. By the 16th century, written Valentines to loved ones were the norm and continue to be so today.

The story of chocolate

candy
Feel the love…with chocolate. Many of us have probably given or received the well-known heart shaped box of chocolates but, why do we like them so much? This sugary treat contains the hormone Phenethylamine (PEA), which actually produces the same sensation as love does. No wonder we love chocolate and the person that gives it to us so much!

The story of Cupid

cupid
Have you been struck by Cupid’s arrow? Cupid is one of the most recognized symbols of Valentine’s Day. According to Roman mythology, this playful winged cherub is the Roman God of Love. It is said that Cupid uses his bow and arrows to randomly shoot people’s hearts causing them to fall madly in love with each other.

We hope you all have a Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love! XOXO

One Response to “Celebrations of Love”

  1. noldrussell February 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Here is an animated video version on history of valentine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGx7q4O6w2w
    It tells exactly how Valentine was captured by Claudius, and was executed, right after he wrote the eternally remembered ‘from your Valentine’ letter.

    Feel free to embed the video, it is using CC attribution.

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