Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Some people love it and some people down right hate it, but the holiday is huge for retail businesses. Valentine’s day ranks 3rd in highest spending amongst the holidays, with people buying chocolate, flowers, and dinner for their special someone. It is estimated that 1 billion Valentine’s day cards are sent every year, 35 million heart shaped chocolate boxes are sold, and 220 million roses are sold. Obviously, those things are great, but at Kizito we totally suggest buying our cookies and baked goods for Valentines day. We were curious as to where this holiday got it’s traditions, so we did a little digging.
Valentines day has a unclear history. It is thought to originally have started as a pagan festival, in present day Greece. In an effort to Christianize the holiday, Pope Gelasius declared St. Valentines day on February 14th.
There have been many Saint Valentines, but during the time of Claudius III’s reign in Rome is said to be the Saint Valentine that the holiday is named after.
The armies of Rome were known to be ruthless conquers, during the reign of Claudius III. In an attempt to make sure his soldiers were fully focused on their duties and nothing else, Claudius banned marriage altogether. The reason for this being, Claudius thought that single men would make better soldiers. St. Valentine started to secretly marry young couples. Hints his name being associated with a holiday that celebrates love. Soon after, Claudius III found out what St. Valentine’s was doing and had him sentences to death.
As St. Valentine lived out his final days, young couples who were secretly wed by him would visit his cell. They would leave him notes and flowers, to show their thanks for what he did for them. During St. Valentine’s his last days he fell in love with his jailers daughter leaving her a note that ended in “your Valentine” starting a tradition that still exist today.
Even though Pope Gelasius declared St. Valentine’s day was to be celebrated on February 14th to honor St. Valentine, but the day was never associated with love and romance till the 1300s. Valentine’s cards first appeared in Europe in the 15th century. By the 17th century the tradition of card giving was a part of British culture and soon caught on in the US. Today St. Valentine’s story is often forgotten, but his legacy of fighting for love lives on through the holiday. However you celebrate this special holiday, The Cookie Lady wishes you a very happy Valentine’s day!