History of Valentine's Day

 

Valentines Day started during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. Rome had been involved in many bloody and unpopular wars. Claudius the Cruel, as he was known, was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join the military. He believed the reason was because Roman men didn't want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.

There was a Christian priest named Valentine who defended love in the empire. Valentine began to secretly marry couples despite the Emperor's orders. When Emperor Claudius was informed of these ceremonies, Valentine was sent to prison where he remained until his death on February 14 in the year 270.

It wasn't until hundreds of years later that Valentine's Day began to develop as we know it. At the time of Valentine's death, Christianity was beginning to take control of Europe. Roman Catholism sought to do away with pagan holidays. Valentine's Day came to replace a mid-February fertility festival called Lupercalia.. During Lupercalia, but in honor of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were put into a box and names were drawn by lot. The boys and girls who were matched would be considered partners for the year, which began in March. The early Roman men often wore the names of the girls who were to be their partners during the Lupercalia pinned to their sleeves. Even today we say that a man wears his heart upon his sleeve when he shows his interest in a lady.

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Sometimes the couple exchanged presents. Ladies often received perfumed gloves or fine jewels. After the Lupercalia became a saint's day honoring Saint Valentine, time for anyone looking for a mate. In the 17th century a hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's eve. She believed this would make her dream of her future husband. Later, people began to exchange valentine cards instead of presents. The Duke of Orleans is believed to have made the first valentine card. Imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, he wrote love poems, or valentines," to his wife in France. Sweethearts exchanged handmade cards during the 17th and 18th centuries. The French trimmed huge paper hearts with yards of real lace. Valentine cards became popular in the United States during the Civil War. Elaborate cards trimmed with satin ribbons, mother-of-pearl ornaments, and spun glass were sold. Within a few years Valentine's Day received almost as much attention as Christmas.

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Happy Valentine's Day home

A brief history of this holiday.

Flowers & Their Meanings

Do you know the language of flowers? Make sure the flowers you send make just the right statement.

Give Me Your Heart

Hearts and cupids and doves and lace. How did all of these things get connected with love and this holiday?

My Traditional Valentine

Learn about fun valentine traditions of today and yesteryear.

Sweets for the Sweet

Here are some fun facts about conversation hearts and CHOCOLATE. .

Valentine's Day Recipes

The way to their hearts is through their stomachs!

Poetry for Those You Love

These poems are not only for husband and wife, but also for children, parents, and friends. I can't seem to stop adding poems to this page. Come and see.

My Funny Valentine

Want to know who you may marry? This page is full of old and new funny little wives tales that will lead you to your special person. At least that is what we have been told. Let me know if any of these old tales work for you.

Be My Valentine

Most of us will buy valentines to send to our loved ones this year. How did that all get started? What is the hsitory behind that?

Looking for Love?

Take heart! The numbers are in your favor.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Why wait for marriage? What does God have to say about this issue? Recommended books for single Christians and parents of teenagers.

Under the Ozarkian Stars

When you are finished here, you may want to check out my blog , Under the Ozarkian Stars on Live Journal. My blog covers happenings and daily events, news stories and my opinions on them, and many Christian topics.

 

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Updated Feb. 26, 2008

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