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The History of Valentine's Day and its Tradition

Mya Hans

Volume 4 Issue 3

March 13, 2024

The History of Valentine's Day and its Tradition

Image Provided by HOLA

Chocolates, cards, flowers, teddy bears, and hearts. A day to express your love and affection for your family, friends, and/or partner. Valentine’s Day. This is a highly favored day of the year because it’s an emblem of love, and it’s an especially wonderful day to appreciate your loved ones. But what if I told you the origins of this holiday are vastly different from what we know today? What’s the history of it? And who started Valentine’s Day and its traditions?  

Well, as with most holidays, there are many ways that people believe Valentine’s Day started, but this one starts in Ancient Rome. During the time, the emperor was Claudius II, and he decided to ban marriage because he thought single men were better soldiers, rather than men who were married. However, a priest named St. Valentine disagreed with the emperor’s new rules and married couples in secret. When the emperor found out what St. Valentine was doing, he was put in jail and eventually executed, this happened on February 14th, the day we now refer to as Valentine’s Day.  

So now that you know the tale behind Valentine’s Day, you may wonder how the traditions began. One gift everyone gives not only for Valentine’s Day but for every holiday is cards. The tradition of giving cards on Valentine’s Day also connects with the legend of St. Valentine. Following the path of the legend, after St. Valentine was put in jail, he befriended the jailer’s daughter, Julia, and some even say he healed her blindness. Before he got executed, he wrote her a goodbye letter and apparently signed it saying, “From your Valentine.”   

Another gift many people receive on Valentine’s Day is flowers, specifically roses. Roses, especially red ones, signify romance, love, and passion. According to writer Ashley Paige, “The flower's connection to Valentine's Day hearkens back to the 19th century when Victorians used floral bouquets to deliver a message to love interests.” The history of roses goes back to the 19th century!  

The traditions of Valentine’s Day have been around for the longest time and continue to have an impact on the holiday we know today. Although all the legends and stories about it may not be completely accurate, it’s still interesting to think about how people believe it began. As you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, remember that it’s about celebrating your loved ones and showing your admiration for them. When you’re thinking of what to give your loved ones, remember these traditions that date back hundreds of years ago, or maybe even start your own! 


The History of Valentine's Day Cards ( 

The Real Story of Cupid (and other Valentine’s Day Traditions) - Cincinnatus Insurance LLC 

The History of Valentine's Day Gift Traditions ( 

Valentine's Day 2024: Origins, Background & Traditions | HISTORY 

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