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We all know it as a celebration of love on February 14th but where did this holiday come from and how has it evolved over time?

January 2023

By Jason Nichols / 5 min read

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Valentine's Day - Where Did it all Start?

As we all know, Valentine's Day is a holiday that is celebrated on February 14th and is dedicated to expressing love and affection between romantic partners. But where did this holiday come from and how has it evolved over time?

The origins of Valentine's Day can be traced back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February. This festival was dedicated to the god of fertility, Lupercus, and involved young men and women drawing names from a bowl to see who their romantic partner would be for the year.

In the Middle Ages, the tradition of courtly love emerged, where knights and noblemen would express their love and devotion to a lady through poems and songs. This led to the tradition of sending love letters and gifts, which eventually became a part of Valentine's Day celebrations.

The first Valentine's Day card was sent in the 15th century by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. The card is now on display at the British Library in London. The holiday became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Esther A. Howland, known as the "Mother of the Valentine," started the first Valentine's Day card business in the United States.

In modern times, Valentine's Day has become a commercialised holiday, with an estimated 145 million cards being sent each year in the United States alone.

The most popular flower on Valentine's Day is the red rose, symbolising love and passion. In Japan, Valentine's Day is a day for women to give chocolate gifts to men, while on White Day (March 14th) men give return gifts, usually in the form of white chocolate.

In recent years, some people have started to celebrate "Galentine's Day" on February 13th, which is a day for women to celebrate their friendships with other women. In South Korea, Valentine's Day is also a day for men to give chocolates to their female friends and colleagues, as well as their romantic partners. Some people choose to celebrate "Anti-Valentine's Day" or "Singles Awareness Day" on February 14th, as a way to embrace being single and celebrate self-love.

Valentine's Day has also become a popular day for weddings, proposals, and even for celebrating with pets. So, whether you're single, in a relationship, or just looking for a special way to show your love, Valentine's Day has something for everyone.

In conclusion, Valentine's Day has a rich history that dates back to ancient times and has evolved over the centuries. While the holiday has become more commercialised in modern times, it remains a special day for expressing love and affection to those who are important to us.