Around the world on February 14th, roses and chocolates are swapped, wine is poured and romance is shared in the spirit of St. Valentine. From its Roman origins to its delectable traditions today, here are some quick bites you might not have known about Valentine’s Day.
The lovers' day, like Halloween, is thought to have pagan roots. Its origin is said to be the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration held each year in mid-February.
Legend tell us the church recast the festival to St. Valentine, a priest who attracted the disfavour of Emperor Claudius II – so the story goes. Seeking to strengthen his army, the emperor called a ban on marriage amongst his soldiers. Valentine flouted the ban and performed weddings in secret.
As punishment, Valentine was executed on February 14th in A.D. 270. While in jail, he wrote a love letter to the jailor’s daughter, and signed it “From your Valentine”. Sound familiar?
Today lovers around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in the spirit of St Valentine. According to history.com, approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, more than 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold, and more than 220 million roses are produced. Valentine’s Day is the second most popular card-swapping holiday after Christmas.
Stuck on a last minute Valentine’s gift?
If you haven’t yet picked up something special on mybc, then get in touch with your local office and see what’s available for last-minute gift ideas this year.