February fourteenth: Valentine’s Day. The day we either wait for all year long, or dread all year long. No one actually knows where the holiday came from and what it’s all about. All we really know is that it’s a day about love, and follow the age-old myths that society has led us to believe are true.
Well, to clear things up, modern Valentine’s Day was not in fact invented by Hallmark (although it is most likely their best day for business). Since the 1880’s, giving cards in England was a tradition and became more common throughout the colonies. The first to mass-produce Valentine’s day cards in America was Esther Howland.
There is another myth that Valentine’s is a Christian holiday and is a celebration of a saint that had been martyred. But, no one even knows which saint it was. There are several saints named Valentine that might be the specific saint in question, but nothing is definite with a lack of historical records to make any confirmations.
The Valentine’s phrase to wear your heart of your sleeve has several explanations, and as amusing and believable as they may be, they also have no records to be confirmed as fact. The earliest known use of the phrase was in Othello, however.
In modern day, Valentine’s is no longer a Christian holiday. But once upon a time, it was a pagan holiday that the Romans celebrated to honor life and fertility. When it came together with Christianity, the holiday completely changed.
Pop-culture also leads up to believe that the most romantic day to propose is Valentine’s day. According to surveys though, this really is not true, since women seem to feel that it’s too expected and common. People don’t want to have the same anniversary as everyone else.