Those in the know claim that Valentine’s Day holiday celebrations are derived from Roman tradition. Many pagan traditions, such as Holloween, were adopted in some form by Christianity. One legend has it derived from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis. The festival involved the young women of Rome placing their names in an urn. The young men would then draw a name of a woman who would be their sexual companion for the year. In 496 AD the Pope in Rome declared it a Christian holiday to be observed on February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who died in the third century. The Roman Emperor Claudius II issued an edict forbidding marriage for young men. Marriage made men emotionally attached to their family, therefore weak soldiers. It is said Valentine was a Roman priest who was murdered because he held secret marriages in opposition to the emperor’s edict. Thus 14th of February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint.
England climbed aboard the love train by the 18th century. Gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine’s Day had become common. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts became popular and handed to one’s love interest. The tradition spread to the American colonies. However, it wasn’t until the 1840’s when greeting cards were commercially produced that the holiday really caught on in the United States. The first mass producer of the card were the brain child of Esther A. Howland. The conspiracy theorist in me finds it extremely peculiar that the first mass marketer of Valentine’s Day, in an age when women’s rights were reserved to the right to keep quiet, was a woman.
Is it possible that Valentine’s Day was created by the sisterhood of women for the benefit of women for generations to come? Here are some statistics:
85% of Valentine’s Day greetings cards are purchased by women-average price $1.99
75% of Valentine’s Day flowers are purchased by men-average price $85
75% of Valentine’s Day chocolates are purchased by men-average price $25
72% of Women polled would break up with their love interest if no gift is given on Valentine’s Day (the other 28% would accept a gift the day before or day after instead).
8% of men polled do not celebrate Valentine’s Day (100% of those men are alone)
Conclusion: Valentine’s Day, from Roman times to today, created by women for women. For that florists throughout say THANKS!
This scribe is brought to you by Starbright Floral Design, “The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps”. Along the way we try to find and write about the fun side of flowers. Starbright delivers flowers all over the world for the endless romantics everywhere.
Starbright Floral Design is the “Official Florist of Romance” and most of the time we deliver flowers, love, passion and hope everywhere in Manhattan and worldwide. Sometimes we deliver yellow carnations.
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