History of Valentines Day

With Valentines day just around the corner, we take a look at the history of valentines day and why it plays an important role in our society today.

The Romans

From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. They believed this would make the women fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Their martyrdom was honoured by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

The Normans

The Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike.

As the years went on, the holiday grew sweeter. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticised it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens du jour in the Middle Ages.

Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World. The Industrial Revolution ushered in factory-made cards in the 19th century. And in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass-producing valentines. February has not been the same since.

Present Day

Today, Valentines Day is very different. Many couples choose to show their affections with meals out, flowers, chocolates and other gifts.

A personalised photo gift is the perfect way to celebrate this love.

Over on our Etsy store, we are seeing huge popularity with our personalised prints – Mainly with anniversary pictures from weddings and personalised car prints.


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