*Stunning chalkboard print by Lily & Val (all prints original and copywrighted)*
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day…quite a hotly contested holiday this one. I’ve seen some wonderful posts online from florists explaining exactly what men go through picking those flowers they might get you, posts about how it’s just a commercial holiday, posts from happy wives and girlfriends of the flowers they got and those happy to spread the love to everyone. I think that’s really what today is about, just sharing your love. My husband buys me flowers randomly and we tell each other that we love each other every day, today is more about just letting everyone know they are loved.
But, enough soppy sentiment…how about some Valentine’s Day (possibly) little known facts?! I’ve done some nerdy Valentine’s research via the History Channel so here we go…
1) Most of us know that this day began because a man named Valentinus was martyred way back in the 3rd century but did you know the details may actually may have been about two different men? St Valentine was a real person but the details around who exactly was martyred remains unclear! He was either a priest beheaded for illegally helping couples wed or the Bishop of Terni, both martyred by Claudius II outside Rome.
2) There was a Pope Valentine back in A.D. 827 who served a whole 40 days as Pope.
3) St Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy, the plague, fainting, traveling, engaged couples and happy marriages. That is one busy saint!
4) The flower-adorned skull of St Valentine is displayed in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome. The rest of his skeleton can be found in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
5) Valentine’s Day could actually have been invented by Chaucer in a poem he wrote back in 1375. I loved this medieval English poet when I studied English Literature in high school and he often stretched the truth a little when it came to history. There is no record of Valentine’s Day being celebrated until his poem “Parliament of Foules” gained attention! In it he refers to Feb 14 as when birds and humans come together to find a mate. And finally,
6) Why chocolate? Roses go back centuries with knights giving their maidens roses and celebrate with songs. There are a few theories about the links with chocolate but it could be that in England, back in the 1840s, Cadbury (yes, that Cadbury) perfected the art of making chocolate that actually tasted nice. Richard Cadbury, who was the head of the company then, saw a marketing opportunity and started selling his chocolates in decorated boxes that he designed and it’s thought that he may have been the first to produce the heart shaped box!
So, there are a few, maybe not so well known, facts about Valentine’s Day. Whether you celebrate the day or not, why not just give someone a hug today.