4 Surprising Facts About Valentine’s Day

4 Surprising Facts About Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day, the day of love and affection, is celebrated worldwide with roses, chocolates, and heartfelt gestures. Beyond the familiar traditions, there are surprising and interesting facts that make this romantic day even more charming.

Origins of Valentine's Day:

Let's uncover the story behind the beginning of Valentine's Day. While lots of people link it with flowers and romance, not many realize that it goes back to ancient Rome and the interesting tale of Saint Valentine. Legend has it that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, Saint Valentine, a compassionate priest, defied the imperial decree prohibiting young men from marrying, believing that single men made better soldiers.

Saint Valentine's commitment to love and compassion extended beyond defying unjust laws. It is said that he performed marriages for young couples in secret, earning him recognition as a symbol of love and devotion. Unfortunately, his acts of kindness led to his arrest and subsequent execution on February 14th.

That day became associated with love, affection, and the enduring spirit of Saint Valentine. Over the centuries, the exchange of handwritten notes, expressing heartfelt sentiments, became a hallmark of the celebration.

Origins of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Cards - A Centuries-Old Tradition:

Did you know that exchanging cards on Valentine's Day has a history spanning centuries? In the 17th century, exchanging handwritten love notes became a popular practice among lovers. These notes were often intricately decorated with lace, ribbons, and adorned with symbols of affection. As printing technology advanced in the 18th century, the first commercially produced Valentine's Day cards began to emerge. These early cards featured delicate designs, sentimental verses, and were often hand-painted. The oldest printed card we know of dates to 1797. Adorned with cupids and flowers, it also features the verse: "Since on this ever Happy day, All Nature's full of Love and Play Yet harmless still if my design, 'Tis but to be your Valentine."

By the 19th century, the industrial revolution and advancements in printing techniques paved the way for the mass production of Valentine's Day cards. This era witnessed the rise of elaborate and ornate cards, embellished with lace, embossing, and colorful illustrations. The introduction of the penny postage system in the United Kingdom further fueled the popularity of sending and receiving Valentine's Day cards.

Valentine's Day Cards - A Centuries-Old Tradition

In the United States, Esther A. Howland is credited with being one of the first entrepreneurs to mass-produce Valentine's Day cards. In the mid-19th century, she began creating and selling intricately designed cards, transforming the holiday into a commercial success.

Over time, the tradition of exchanging cards evolved with changing artistic styles, cultural influences, and societal norms. Today, Valentine's Day cards come in a wide array of styles, from traditional and sentimental to humorous and unconventional. The enduring appeal of sending heartfelt messages through cards continues to be a cherished aspect of this romantic celebration, showcasing how a centuries-old tradition has adapted and thrived in the modern era.

Valentine's Day Around the World:

Valentine's Day unfolds in a myriad of cultural expressions around the world. The celebration of love transcends borders, and each culture brings its unique traditions and customs to this romantic occasion.

In Japan, Valentine's Day has a distinctive twist. Here, it's the women who take the lead by presenting chocolates to men. There are two types of chocolates: "honmei-choco" (meaning true feelings chocolate) for a romantic partner and "giri-choco" (obligation chocolate) for friends and colleagues. A month later, on March 14th, known as White Day, men reciprocated the gesture by giving gifts to the women who gave them chocolates.

Valentine's Day Around the World

In South Korea, the romantic festivities are not confined to a single day. Similar to Japan, South Korea also observes a separate day for men to reciprocate gestures of love. Apart from Valentine's Day on February 14th, the country celebrates Black Day on April 14th, where singles who did not receive gifts on the previous two occasions gather to eat black bean noodles as a way of commiserating with each other.

In Denmark and Norway, the expression of love takes a literary turn. Instead of roses and chocolates, people exchange pressed white flowers called "snowdrops" and send playful, rhyming love notes known as gaekkebrev. These anonymous letters are signed only with dots, and if the recipient guesses the sender's identity correctly, they receive an Easter egg as a reward.

In Brazil, the celebration of love extends beyond romantic partners. Known as "Dia dos Namorados," which translates to Lover's Day, the country commemorates Valentine's Day on June 12th. Brazilians exchange gifts, declare their love, and partake in festive celebrations with family and friends.

These diverse customs highlight the universal nature of love and how Valentine's Day has adapted and integrated with unique cultural practices worldwide. Whether through chocolates in Japan, love notes in Denmark, or festive gatherings in Brazil, the essence of expressing affection remains a central theme in this global celebration of love.

Unconventional Valentine's Day Gifts:

Customized Star Map:

Capture the alignment of the stars on a significant date in your relationship, such as your anniversary or the day you met. Create a beautiful star map poster that serves as a timeless reminder of that special moment.

Customized Star Map

Aluminum Wallet Card:

Customize an aluminum wallet card with a personal message, or a heartfelt quote. These sleek and durable cards can be carried in a wallet as a constant reminder of your love.

Aluminum Wallet Card

Custom Luggage Tag:

If your partner loves to travel, consider a personalized luggage tag. Include their name, a significant date, or a unique message to make their luggage stand out and add a personal touch to their journeys.

Custom Luggage Tag

Personalized Mini Photo Album Keychain:

Create a mini photo album keychain that tells the story of your relationship through pictures. Include snapshots of memorable moments, adventures, and milestones, turning them into a cherished keepsake.

Personalized Mini Photo Album Keychain

Customized Jewelry:

Opt for personalized jewelry, such as a necklace with initials, a bracelet with a significant date, or a ring engraved with a heartfelt message. Choose a piece that suits your partner's style.

Get Ready For A Special Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is more than just a day for roses and chocolates; it's a celebration rich with history, tradition, and global diversity. As you prepare to celebrate love this year, take a moment to reflect on these surprising facts that add depth and meaning to the occasion. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a romantic at heart, or someone looking for unique ways to celebrate, these facts will undoubtedly make your Valentine's Day a little more special.


Back to blog