St. Valentine’s Day, or Valentine’s Day to you and me, is surprisingly celebrated in more than just the US. We grew up celebrating this special day with showing our loved ones and dearest friends how much we care about them, usually through the expression of candy, flowers, balloons, special dinners, and gifts. While we are accustomed to celebrating Valentine’s Day traditionally every year, we forget that there’s a rich history behind it.
The holiday dates back to the raucous Roman festival of Lupercalia held in mid-February. The festival celebrated the coming of spring and great fertility. Later the Christian church would replace Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day to Christianize the holiday.
But it’s not yet known who exactly was St. Valentine. There were many individuals around the same time with the same name. One popular story states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. At the time, it was believed that you made a better soldier if you were single. For defying the emperor, St. Valentine was sentenced death. Pope Gelasius felt for Valentine and declared February 14th officially St. Valentine’s Day in his honor.
Even though it wasn’t until the 1300s that Valentine’s Day was known for love and romance, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the first signs of formal messages or valentines were discovered. And in the 17th century, it was Great Britain that started the tradition of exchanging letters and gifts. Yes, once again we see a popular tradition birthed oversees!
Soon after, Valentine’s Day was started in the US. Today, the day is popular in the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, and several parts of South America, Europe, and Asia.
How Valentine’s is Celebrated in Other Parts of the World
Over $220million roses will be purchased for Valentine’s Day. The United Kingdom started the tradition of giving roses on Valentine’s Day. The flower is traditionally seen as the favorite of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
In Peru, Instead of roses, Peruvians typically exchange orchids, which are native to the country, on Valentine’s Day.
Mass wedding ceremonies have gained popularity in the Philippines in recent years, leading hundreds of couples to gather at malls or other public areas around the country to get married or renew their vows.
In South Korea, The gift-giving starts on February 14th, when it's up to women to woo their men with chocolates, candies, and flowers. The tables turn on March 14th, a holiday known as White Day, when men not only shower their sweethearts with chocolates and flowers, but up the ante with a gift.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Breed & Co.
Breed & Co. locations are celebrating Valentine's Day with Champagne & Chocolates. Visit your local store on February 14 between 12PM and 2PM and delight in a sweet treat.