Valentine’s Day is the one day each year that we’re encouraged to profess our love and shower our beloved with gifts and tokens of our affection.
A celebration of Valentine’s Day wasn’t always about hearts, candy, roses and cards, though. Valentine’s Day is actually linked to an old pagan holiday called Lupercalia, which was celebrated in ancient Rome. Lupercalia was far from the love holiday that we know today; this ancient holiday was a celebration of fertility. Men celebrated by sacrificing animals and then hitting women with the animal skins. Yes, it was actually a privilege to be hit on Lupercalia and it was regarded as a sign of future fertility.
Through the years, Valentine’s Day became associated with St. Valentine, whose link to love and passion is a bit of a debate. Valentine was thought to have married young Christians during a time when young couples weren’t marrying and Christians were being persecuted. However, stories on St. Valentine’s vary. Others theorize that Geoffrey Chaucer inadvertently created Valentine’s Day when he wrote his poem “The Parliament of Fowls.”
No matter what you believe regarding the history of Valentine’s Day, this February holiday is much loved for couples who want a reason to relish in romance. Today, Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for wedding proposals and flower and candy sales soar. According to Women’s Day, men dominate Valentine’s Day flower sales figures—73 percent of flowers are purchased by men.
Valentine’s Day celebrations don’t have to be defined by the gifts, though. Some couples may opt for fun excursions like ski trips or even cruises. Others go low-key and order take-out while watching the best rom-coms on Netflix. Whether you buy dozens of red roses, design a new piece of jewelry, shower your beloved with as much chocolate that he/she can eat or just write a love poem, the best Valentine’s Day gifts are the ones that come from the heart.
However, if you need a little inspiration and a few ideas for your Valentine’s Day celebration, check out our infographic that details “Valentine’s Day Gifts through the Times.”