The History Of Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day flowers signify love and romance and we give them as a celebration of our love for each other. The origins of Valentine’s Day, however, are a little murky and have nothing to do with flowers, love or romance.
Read on to learn more about the events that have shaped one of the most widely celebrated days across the world.
It all Began in Rome
The story goes that Valentine was a priest in Rome who was imprisoned by Claudius II for marrying people in the Christian Church. Claudius had decided to ban marriage because he thought that his soldiers would fight better if they did not have to worry about their wives and children, in the case of their death in battle.
Valentine however, continued to perform weddings and was promptly imprisoned by Claudius. Whilst in jail, Valentine came to tutor the jailor’s daughter, a young girl who had been blind since birth. She asked Valentine if God heard our prayers and when he said yes, she prayed for God to give her the gift of sight. Miraculously, while she was praying with Valentine, her sight was returned.
Valentine was executed on the 14th February 270 AD and the night before his death he sent a note to the jailor's daughter, signed ‘from your Valentine’. So really, on February 14th we honour the sacrifice made by Valentine, who continued to celebrate weddings in the Christian Church, even though it endangered his life and eventually led to his death.
The Significance of Flowers on Valentine's Day
Today, we honour and celebrate Valentine’s life by sending messages of love to our significant other and Valentine’s Day flowers are the messages we send. The giving of flowers on this day apparently originated from the time of Charles II of Sweden, who introduced ‘the language of flowers’ from Persia. Each single flower was given a very significant meaning and a bouquet of flowers could hide an entire conversation!
So instead of letters, people used to send bouquets of flowers as a form of secret correspondence in the 18th century. This symbolism attached to flowers has continued on down through the centuries and today, we celebrate the life of Valentine by giving Valentine’s Day flowers to the person we love.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!