It is that time of the year again, when love in forms and shapes and types is celebrated by people all around the world. Starting from February 7 to 14, Valentine’s week is filled with occasions that prompt couples to express their love and make their partner feel special (yes, we’re aware of the pressure as well). Building up the hype of Valentine’s Day are the seven days that come before — Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, Hug Day — in that order before the big V-Day comes a-calling.
Each day has its own significance and even Valentine’s Day, which today has a many cultural, religious and commercial significances has a distinctive story attached to it. While planning a perfect date, gifting and popping the question may be the first few things on your mind, here are some interesting facts about the occasion that you may not know.
Saint Valentine of Rome
Early Christian martyrs were named Valentine and there are many martyrdom stories associated with Valentines that are connected to February 14. The most popular one is the account of Saint Valentine of Rome, who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and also for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine restored the sight of his judge’s daughter and before his execution wrote her a letter sighed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
Romance and Love
It is also believed that February 14 became associated with romance and love in the 14th century when the tradition of courtly love flourished within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer. Later in the 18th century England, the occasion evolved where lovers expressed their love for special someone by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards — known as “Valentines”.
Saint Valentine’s Keys
In many places including Europe Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and an invivation to unlock the giver’s heart. Moreover, it is also given to children to warm off epilepsy, also known as Saint Valentine’s Malady.
Other Valentine’s Day
In many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated on July 6, which is in honour of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and July 30, which is in the honour of ieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna.