Remember how January’s enigmatic birthstone was the gorgeous red Garnet? Despite January being over already (can you believe it?!), every year red makes a huge splash again in February courtesy of, you guessed it, Valentines Day. There’s no getting away from it as restaurants across the land plaster their walls with posters of red hearts, flying cupids and the promise of a free glass of Prosecco...and we are offering you FREE UK DELIVERY until Monday so you can treat yourself!
So, where did it come from, and why February the 14th..?
Although it is said that some of the story may have been ‘a little embellished’ over the years, the following is the legend as we know and love it today - St Valentine was in fact a Catholic priest living in Rome in the 3rd Century. During Valentine’s lifetime a few Romans had starting to covert to Christianity, so the Pagan Emperor, Claudius II, believing that the Roman soldiers should be devoted only to Rome, passed a law against them getting married. Valentine, however, always a firm believer in the power of love, decided to start marrying the soldiers in secret ceremonies.
Of course when Claudius discovered what was going on, he promptly sentenced Valentine to be executed and threw him in jail. Legend has it not only did Valentine look after his fellow prisoners while he was inside, he cured the jailor’s daughter of blindness. It is also rumoured that on the day of his execution (February 14th, 270), he wrote the girl a note signed, ‘From your Valentine.’
Then the whole thing took a while to catch on as it wasn’t until 200 years later that February 14th became known as St Valentine’s Day. Paganism had become rather frowned upon, so the Pope abolished the Pagan fertility festival that took place in February, and replaced it with Valentine’s Day. But it was in the Middle Ages that the author, Chaucer, took up the mantle of Valentine’s Day being all about love and romance and ran with it, leaving a trail of red roses in his wake.
Now it is truly massive the world over with every country holding it’s own traditions from love poetry to the giving of spoons. In the Philippines, February 14th is when multiple marriages happen as couples rush to tie the knot on the most romantic day of the year.
Remember too that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for all you love birds out there, it’s also the day to tell everyone we love that we love them!
P.S. If you’re looking for some inspiration on what to do, there’s a handy list here.
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