Fun Facts About Valentine’s Day
Ever wonder how Valentine’s Day began? One theory is that Bishop Valentine performed secret weddings against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II, who forbade Roman men from marrying during wartime. The bishop was jailed for disobeying the emperor. While in prison, he wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter and signed it, “from your Valentine.” The bishop was executed and eventually elevated to sainthood, and the rest is history—or myth.
However, one has to wonder if this might be the reason that in Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.
Ever wonder why people sign Valentine’s Day cards with a series of X’s to indicate kisses? Back in medieval times most people were illiterate. They signed their names with an X in front of a witness, then kissed the X as a sign of their sincerity. Perhaps this is also the origin of the expression “sealed with a kiss.”
Another romantic expression, “wearing your heart on your sleeve”, also harkens back to Valentine’s Day during medieval times. Young men and women would draw names from a bowl to choose their Valentine. The name would be pinned to their sleeves for a week for everyone to see.
If you find Valentine’s Day depressing due to your single status, you can celebrate Singles Awareness Day instead. Or become an honorary citizen of Finland for the day and celebrate Ystävänpäivä, which is Friend’s Day and is all about celebrating friendships.
And what about all those red roses that are given on Valentine’s Day? Why did the red rose become synonymous with romance? It probably has something to do with the red rose being the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
To all our readers, Happy Valentine’s Day—or Singles Awareness Day or Ystävänpäivä!