History and Facts About Valentine's Day – 14th of February

Valentine’s day is celebrated on 14th of February each year.

Valentine’s day is the second most celebrated holiday after New Year’s day.

However, until today, it remains unclear who exactly was St. Valentine. History mentions about three people – Valentine, the Roman saint who was a bishop, Valentine of Alexandria (better known as Valentinus) and Valentine of Terni. Surprisingly, three of them were martyred on 14th of February.

Three of them have died in the name of love. They were martyred for committing the sin of ‘spreading love’.

There are various theories on the origin of this special day, but most people know that it goes back as early as 270 AD when there was a clash between a mighty ruler and a kindly priest. At that time, the Emperor Claudius II who ruled over Rome did not want any man to marry during wartime because the Emperor believed single men made better soldiers. At this point, Saint Valentine came to their rescue and helped all of them to marry in secret. For this, Valentine was jailed, tortured, and then executed on February 14 by order of the Emperor.

While Valentine was in jail, he turned to Christianity (at that time, this was also a deadly crime) and guided many people and his friends in distress through the path of Christianity, he also enlightened them with his knowledge.

history of valentine's day

While in prison, Valentine fell in love with a girl who they believe was his jailor’s daughter who visited him every day during his confinement.

Before his death, Valentine wrote a love note to the jailor’s daughter, which he signed “From your Valentine” – sound familiar? This signed note also happened to be considered as the first Valentine’s Day greetings.

A similar story revolves around the ‘Valentine of Terni’. According to the story, he is known to have mystical powers and could cure incurable diseases and heal wounds. He spread the message of love and forgiveness among people and therefore considered as the messenger of God. However, Christianity was not the accepted religion at that time and he was beheaded for his faith and beliefs.

Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome both were buried on the Via Flamina.

facts about valentine's day

Many people also believe that Valentine’s day has its roots in pagan fertility festivals. On 14th of February, the ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno, the goddess of women and marriage.

On Valentine’s day, more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every year.

About 85% of all valentines are purchased by women.

Over 50 million roses are given every year on Valentine’s day.

flowers and chocolates on valentine's day

On Valentine’s day, about 73% of people who bought flowers are men while about 27% are women.

In US, about 1 billion Valentine’s cards are exchanged every year – Its the second largest (next to Christmas) seasonal card-sending of the year.

Around 498 AD, it was Pope Gelasius who declared 14th of February as the Valentine’s day.

14th of February was also declared as the holiday of St. Valentine’s day by England’s Kng Henry VII in 1537.

In 1936, Valentine’s day was first introduced to Japan. But since there was a translation error made by a chocolate company, only the females who bought chocolates for their boyfriends, friends, or spouses. It is the only day of the year that women reveal their crush on a man by giving him chocolate.

Every Valentine’s day, the Italian city of Verona receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.