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History of Valentine's Day

Every February 14th, chocolate, flowers, and gifts are exchanged around the world in the name of St. Valentine. There are multiple theories as to how we started celebrating Valentine's Day. According to, the most common link to Valentine’s Day is Roman priest, Saint Valentine who ties back to the 5th century. Valentine served under Emperor Claudius II, who believed single men make better soldiers than married men who had families. Claudius decided to outlaw all young men from getting married. Valentine realized the injustice of the new law and secretly continued to perform marriages. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s defiance and ordered that he be put to death.

Another legend about Saint Valentine is that he may have been killed for helping Christians escape Roman prison, where they were often abused. In this legend, while Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with a girl and wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine". This expression is still used today, and often in cards with handwritten letters in them. Whatever story you believe, they all exemplify Saint Valentine’s legacy of a romantic and heroic figure.

Valentine's Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common to write letters or show a token of appreciation to your lover on February 14th. In the 1840s a woman named Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the "Mother of the Valentine," made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures. By the 1900s greeting cards replaced letters and made Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending day of the year.

We now celebrate Valentine's Day by decorating with hearts, roses, cupid, and anything red or pink. Often lovers will go out to dinner and exchange gifts like cards, flowers, and candy. Young students also get to participate as well. Traditionally in elementary school, children are allowed to give and receive Valentine's Day cards with the whole class. Celebrate love this year and find some amazing decor and gifts for your family and friends!

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