February 14th – Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on 14th February and some people believe this is to commemorate the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death or burial circa A.D. 270, others claim that the Christian church decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to Christianise the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia (Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility).

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages but Valentine’s greetings as we know them now didn’t begin to appear until after AD 1400. The oldest Valentine text in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned at the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.  The Duchess died before the poem could reach her. Over the Duke’s 25 year imprisonment, he wrote his wife 60 love poems which are often said to have been the first “Valentines.”  This Valentine poem can bee seen at the British Library in Central London.  Several years after, it is believed that Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a Valentine note for Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be widely celebrated around the 17th Century. By the middle of the 18th Century, it was common for lovers and friends from all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in print technology. Ready-made cards were an effortless way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all at Vanguard Self-Storage