The history of Valentine's day is actually a bit of a mystery but here are a few fun facts:
- According to one legend, a third century Roman Priest named Valentine was imprisoned (possible for permorming outlawed marriages) and while in prison was visited by a young woman who he fell in love with. It is said that before his death he sent her a love letter, the first valentine greeting and signed it "from your valentine", an expression that is still widely used today.
- Valentine's day is mentioned by Ophelia in the Shakespeare play "Hamlet"
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5)
Ophelia by Arthur Hughes
- The oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. She was known as the Mother of the Valentine & made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".
A photograph of an Esther Howland Valentine
- Cupid has become one of the most famous symbols of Valentine's day. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. His name originated from the Latin word "cupido", which means desire. As you probably know Cupid has been synonymous with love and romance since ancient times. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman's he was Cupid, and his mother Venus. He is known as a mischievous, winged child, whose arrows who would pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love.
- Christmas is the #1 holiday for sending greeting cards but Valentines day is in second place with over 1 billion valentines day cards sent every year.
- Approximately 85% of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased by women!
So there are some fun facts. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU ALL. Have a wonderful fay tomorrow with your valentine(s)!