Valentine’s Day – A Beginner’s Guide

Ayden Hageman

Valentine’s Day: A Beginner’s Guide

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so whether or not you’ll be spending next Wednesday with that special someone, here’s everything you need to know for February 14th.


The Birth of Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day is widely considered a mystery. While February has long been considered the month of romance, there are many stories surrounding the roman saint St. Valentine that could be related to the origin of the holiday. The most popular story revolves around St. Valentine getting imprisoned in 270 A.D. for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. From there, St. Valentine sent the first “valentine,” in his prison cell to his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories about him all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and extremely romantic figure that symbolizes what is now called Valentine’s Day.


The Emergence of Valentine’s Day

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Mexico, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century that it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. Then, in the 1900s, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology, making it easier for people to express their true emotions in a time period where expressing feelings was frowned upon. Meanwhile, in the United States, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America in the 1840s. Howland eventually became known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” making cards with real ribbons, colorful pictures, and lace. An estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year in the United States, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, just behind Christmas.


Other Interesting Facts about Valentine’s Day

  • 250 million roses are grown just for Valentine’s Day
  • Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day
  • About 20% of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets
  • The heart shape wasn’t always a romantic symbol; people used to believe that the heart was the humans’ center of memory
  • Every year, thousands of people send Valentine’s letters to Juliet from Romeo and Juliet
  • Teachers are the number one recipient of Valentines!


Now you’re set for this year’s Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the romantic day!