One of the more
popular legends says that during the third century in Rome, Emperor
Claudius II figured that since married men didn't want to be soldiers
because they would have to leave their families, he should outlaw
marriage. Forgetting the obvious fact that if one outlaws marriage, then
very soon one won't even have an empire to run, he went ahead and put his
dubious plan to work. A priest by the name of Valentine was outraged by
such an injustice, and continued to marry young couples in secret (as well
as videotaping their honeymoon night for them at no extra charge!).
Claudius eventually learned what Val was up to, and had him put to death
on February 14th. Other stories suggest Valentine was actually killed for
trying to help Christians escape Roman prisons where they were tortured,
but these aren't quite so romantic or cost effective to the holiday.
legend tells that Valentine sent the very first "valentine"
himself. The legend says that while in jail, Valentine fell in love with a
girl who visited him while he was imprisoned there. Supposedly before his
death, he wrote a letter to his sweetheart and signed it "From your
Valentine", which is exactly what people say to each other all the
time on Valentine's Day. Do we see a pattern here? I think so.
No matter what the legends may say, though, Valentine's Day became
a declared holiday around 498 AD by Pope Gelasius.
few facts about Valentine's Day you didn't know (and probably couldn't
care less about):
The term "wear your heart on your sleeve" is said to have come
from an old tradition in the middle ages where young men and women would
draw names from a bowl as a way to pick who their valentine was and they
would then pin the name to their sleeves where it would stay for one week.
The heart shape that is now so popular for symbolizing love has been used
throughout history, though not always meaning what it does now. Variations
have been found from ancient Greece, Africa, and the early hunters of
Europe before the last ice age. In Sweden, however, the heart shape is
associated with "defecation"
because it was an old sign for "toilet" for both males and
Doesn't it seem like those little heart candies have been around forever?
They practically have! Aside from having an atomic shelf life like a
Twinkie, these little pastel sweets have been in production for over 150
years! The first hearts were invented in the 1860's and had a little note
tucked inside that said something like "please send a lock of your
hair by return mail."
(symbology of the heart)