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History of Valentine's Day
Lebone News

The Interesting History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, a day of love, smiles and blossoms on February 14th, captivating hearts worldwide. Most companies have internal or external digital or litho printed Valentine’s Day campaigns planned to strengthen relationships. But do you know where it all started?

Let’s peek behind the buzz into the origins of this enchanting celebration to see the tapestry woven with ancient rituals, saintly legends, and the evolution of romantic customs.

Origins & Mysteries

Valentine’s Day is linked to the Roman pastoral festival of Lupercalia which occurred from the 13th to 15th February. Its purpose was to purify the city, boost health and fertility, and welcome the arrival of spring.

Pope Gelasius I later replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day in the 5th century. The holiday’s romantic essence started emerging in the 14th century, with tales of love-struck martyrs defying emperors and secretly marrying couples.

Legends of Love & Sacrifice

The legend of St. Valentine, whether a priest healing a jailer’s daughter or a bishop defying imperial orders, paints a picture of love’s triumph. 

Formal valentines emerged in the 1500s, evolving into commercial cards by the 1800s. Cupid, the Roman god of love and hearts, became a timeless symbol, while red roses famously became tokens of beauty and affection.

A Global Affair

Valentine’s Day isn’t confined to only a few countries – it’s a worldwide celebration. From France to the Philippines to the North Pole, the day unites lovers and, in some places, even prompts mass weddings. The holiday has transcended romantic bounds, embracing expressions of affection among friends and family.

There are some exceptions, with some countries like Indonesia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia banning the day due to the day’s conflicting views with the Islamic culture.

Christianising Romance

Valentine’s Day’s placement in mid-February is often attributed to the Christianisation of Lupercalia. This fertility festival, dedicated to Faunus, was outlawed in the 5th century and relabelled St. Valentine’s Day. 

In the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer further romanticised the day, cementing its association with love.

Cupid: A Mischief-Maker

The mischievous Cupid (Latin for ‘passionate love’), rooted in Greek mythology as Eros, plays a central role in Valentine’s Day. Armed with golden arrows of love, Cupid’s antics have been charmingly portrayed in art and cards throughout history.

The legend says that a person who is shot with the meddling Cupid’s arrow will be filled with uncontrollable desire.

Greetings & Gifts Through Time

Valentine’s Day greetings date back to the Middle Ages, with handwritten notes evolving into printed cards by the 1800s. Esther A. Howland, the “Mother of the Valentine,” introduced mass-produced cards in the 1840s. Today, over 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually in the United States alone.

In embracing the rich history of Valentine’s Day, Lebone Litho invites you to celebrate love’s enduring legacy. Share in the enchantment and let the spirit of St. Valentine inspire moments of connection and appreciation in your business network.

Let’s discuss your fun Valentine’s Day marketing ideas with digital or litho printing.

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