St. Valentine's Day started during the Roman Empire and was a holiday to honor Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The lives of boys and girls were very nearly always separate, except on this day at the celebration, the boys would draw a name of a girl with whom he would spend the remainder of the night with. Later, the Christian Church in Rome took up this holiday in honor of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. Another story tells that St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for not giving up his Christianity, and died on February 14, 269 AD, after leaving a farewell note to a woman signed, "From your valentine".
A Few Traditions:
- The first Valentine's Day cards are given credit to Miss Esther Howland, who is named the mother of American Valentine's Day cards.
- Hundreds of years ago in England, children would dress up as adults as go caroling. One verse they would sings is: "Good morning to you, Valentine; curl your locks as I do mine-- Two before and three behind. Good morning to you, Valentine."
- Like the Roman tradition, in the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw a heart with their Valentines name on it and wear it on their sleeve for a week. (which now means it's easy to read your emotions).
- In some countries a woman may receive a gift of clothing from a man; should she decide to keep it, means that she will marry him.
- It is said that if a woman sees a robin flying over head on V-Day it means you will marry a sailor. If a sparrow, she will marry a poor man but be very happy. If a goldfinch, she will marry a wealthy man.
- Valentines Day is the day to look for a date, based on the English custom stating that birds find their mates on February 14th.
- Before the 16th Century, gloves were worn exclusively by men. On Valentine's Day, if a woman went up to a man and said "Good-morrow Valentine, I go today; to wear for you what you must pay; a pair of gloves next Easter day" he would have to buy her a pair of gloves to wear on Easter.
- In the 1700's, rural Englishwomen would pin bay leaves to each corner of their pillows, as well as one in the middle, in hopes that on the eve of Valentine's Day their future husbands would appear to them in a dream.
- In the 19th century, because it is said that on the Leap Year a woman can propose marriage, if a man received a Valentine on the Leap Year, he could trace it through the mail and would be entitled to accept her assumed proposal if she could provide proof that she was able to manage a modern mansion on her own.