History of Valentine's Day

The history of Valentine’s Day is rather shrouded in mystery. As with many modern holidays, Valentine’s Day is believed to have its roots in a Roman pagan festival. In this case, Valentine’s Day history began with the “Lupercalia festival,” where men sacrificed a dog and a goat, and then used the hides of the animals to whip women in the belief that it would make them fertile.

Fortunately, Valentine’s Day traditions have come a long way since those early days.

The Romans are probably also responsible for the name of the holiday. Two men named Valentine were both executed on Feb. 14 under the rule of Emperor Claudius II. The Catholic Church honored their martyrdom by claiming the day as St. Valentine’s Day.

Over the centuries, famous people (e.g. Shakespeare) helped to romanticize Valentine’s Day through their writings and works. By 1913, the holiday had come to America and Hallmark began creating valentines for everyone. Now you can find a card with any cartoon character imaginable on it.

Valentine's Day Traditions, Food, & Gifts

In modern times, Valentine’s Day has become a celebration of love and a day to remember those who are special in your life. The most widespread Valentine’s Day traditions are to express your love in the form of gifts – with cards, chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals and jewelry – all tokens of affection.

School children often delight in Valentine’s Day parties in which everyone in their class exchanges valentines. Messages range from cartoon characters to kitschy candy heart sayings. Be Mine is the classic, and UR cute! have morphed into Ti Amo and BFF.

Going out to celebrate is also a Valentine’s Day tradition. This custom likely sprang from the old English belief that birds selected their partners on Feb. 14, and the day was even called “The Bird’s Wedding Day” in Sussex, England.

Today, many couples maintain a tradition of a Valentine’s Day date night. Some choose to go out for a fancy meal; others prefer cuddling up on the couch with a bottle of wine and a favorite movie or playlist playing in the background. Which are you?

May we suggest you make your Valentine’s Day tradition in even more special with a Valentine’s Day gift basket from Hickory Farms? Filled with decadent chocolates, cheese, sausage and other tasty treats, we’ll deliver the perfect Valentine’s Day food.

No matter what you do, having your love by your side is the point, so cozy up and enjoy the tradition!

Cheers to crafting new traditions and treasuring your loved ones for many years to come.