Valentine’s Day is seen by many as the most romantic day of the year. It’s a day when couples exchange cards and gifts while those with their eye on someone special may send surreptitious messages declaring their feelings in the hope that they may be reciprocated.
It’s an important date to remember if you don’t want to get into trouble with your other half and luckily it falls on the same date every year, February 14, so there’s no excuse for forgetting.
Although few people these days treat it as a religious occasion, the date was originally used to celebrate St Valentine in honour of one or more early Christian saints and martyrs going by that name, of which there were seemingly several.
Numerous myths and stories circulate suggesting why the celebration first came about, including reference to one of the Christian martyrs named Valentine who, according to legend, was executed for his beliefs, but not before restoring the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter, before leaving her a note signed ‘From your Valentine’.
While there may be little historical basis for this flourish to the tale, it wasn’t until the middle ages that the romantic connections seemed to come about, thanks partly to the romantic poems of Geoffrey Chaucer and his contemporaries. By the 1400s, the date was known as a time for lovers to exchange gifts, something that has continued throughout the ages evolving into the modern celebration we know today.