How much do you know about Valentine’s Day?

 It’s a holiday we celebrate every year here in America, a day devoted to love and lovers.  The concept of honoring this “crazy little thing called love” is so embraceable, Valentine’s Day in some form or another is celebrated in many countries all over the world.



Where did Valentine’s Day originate?

There are a variety of stories as to exactly who Saint Valentine was and how the holiday began.  The early Church celebrated Valentine’s Day as a liturgical event to honor one or more Christian saints named Valentinus.  These saints likely weren’t martyrs, but the Church invented martyrdom stories to attach to the individuals.


One account of Saint Valentine of Rome has him being thrown in jail for performing weddings for soldiers who weren’t allowed to marry.  He also got in trouble, according to the story, for ministering to Christians and made it worse when he healed the daughter of his jailer.  Before his death, he is said to have written a letter signed, “Your Valentine.”


So from all that, we today become our loved one’s “Valentine,” as in “Will you be my Valentine?”  Hopefully none of us are in jail on this Valentine’s Day.


The association of the celebration with romantic love started in the High Middle Ages, when courtly love was all the rage.  By the18th century in England, people were celebrating Valentine’s Day by giving their lovers flowers, candy and cards, which were known as “Valentines.”


The heart symbol of the celebration appeared in Europe, where Saint Valentine’s Keys are given as a symbol to unlock the heart of the giver.  Other symbols that have become part of modern Valentine’s Day activities include doves and a winged Cupid.


Where is Valentine’s Day celebrated?

A surprising number of countries celebrate the legend of Saint Valentine in one way or the other.  In many countries, it’s not an actual holiday like it is in America, and some sectors of the population celebrate it on days other than our traditional February 14.


Countries where you can find the celebration include China, France, Greece, India, Israel, Japan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Wales and many others.


If you want to learn more about the celebration, there’s a great Wikipedia Valentine’s Day page that will tell you just about everything there is to know.


Here’s wishing you a happy and jail-free Valentine’s Day 2015.


Nick & Ellie