For the uninitiated, Valentine’s Day, also known as St. Valentine’s Day, is celebrated on February 14 every year by lovers to express their love and affection.
This day is quite similar to an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia (also known as dies Februatus), which was celebrated on February 15 to promote fertility and health. However, it was different in some ways, including animal sacrifices and fertility rites.
It is believed that it wasn’t until the 14th century that Valentine’s Day came to be associated with love and romance. Sounds so different from today when most of us just place our orders for Valentine day cakes online and do not roam around sacrificing poor critters!
Other origin stories
There have been quite a few Christian martyrs named Valentine. However, one story says that this day was named after a Christian priest named Valentine, who was executed by the emperor Claudius in 270 CE. It is believed that he wrote a letter to his jailor’s daughter, who he ‘cured’ of blindness and signed it ‘from your Valentine’.
Yet another story goes that this day was named after a bishop called St. Valentine of Terni.
This day through the ages
Messages called valentines only appeared in the 1500s. These were followed by commercially printed cards which showed up in the latter half of the 18th century. Most valentines showed Cupid, the mythical son of the goddess of love, Venus, and featured hearts which are considered by many as the seat of emotions.
While the current trend may be to send Valentine’s Day cakes online, the traditional gifts associated with this special day are candy and flowers. Red roses symbolize love, and these are preferred the most by lovers.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide, especially in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Argentina, South Korea, and Mexico. In fact, this day is the most common wedding anniversary in the Philippines, where hundreds of couples get hitched in mass weddings to cement their love for each other.
If you think it is only couples who celebrate this day, you are wrong. Valentine’s Day has slowly expanded to accommodate the expression of love between friends and family. In fact, a TV show named ‘Parks and Recreation’ coined the term ‘Galentine’s Day,’ which is popular among groups of women who get together on this day to show their affection for one another. Many school-going children give flowers and candy to their ‘crush’ on this day.
You too can express your love on this special day by gifting a very special treat to your loved one. You can Order Valentine Cakes at Avon Bakers, who specialize in making scrumptious temptations full of love for this day of love. You will be delighted to see the smile blossoming on their face!