Everyone understands that Valentine's Day is important. Overlook the jour d'amour too many times, or fail to find a suitable Valentine's Day gifts, and your relationship could be history.


The History of Valentine's Day

02E60901But what about the history of the day itself? Where does it come from and why do we continue to celebrate the occasion?

Saint Valentine himself dates all the way back to Roman times, and the name appears often from the second century onwards. 'Valentinus' was a popular name all the way through to the eighth century, so there are plenty of theories (and myths!) as to which one inspired the events we now celebrate every February 14th.

The most likely origin lies with Saint Valentine of Rome, who legend has it defied an order from the Emperor banning marriage of young men so that they could be saved for the army. This Valentine was inspired by love over all else and continued to marry young couples, until eventually he was executed for his defiance. The date of his death, or possibly birth, is believed to inspire the mid-February celebration.

Other versions of their story have the Valentine's celebration as a Christian attempt to claim the Pagan festival of Lupercalia, which also fell in February. While it originates in those distant early days, we have to fast forward to the Middle Ages and the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer to find the first reliable connections with romantic love, and then to 18th century England for the tradition of exchanging Valentine's Day Gifts. This is when flowers, love notes or cards, and sweet goods entered the occasion and form the celebration we enjoy to this day.

Nowadays Valentine's Day is celebrated most fervently in North America, Western Europe and Australia, although recognition is also found in other countries influenced by western culture, such as Japan and South Korea. Whatever the day's origins, it has clearly become one of the most important dates for young men to mark on the calendar!  Shop wine gifts now!