Here’s a look at what you need to know about Valentine’s Day, celebrated every February 14th.
Facts: Both people in relationships and singles express their love through cards, candy, flowers and gifts.
-School children exchange cards and often have classroom parties.
-There are several different theories about the origins of Valentine’s Day.
-The ancient Romans held the festival of Lupercalia on February 15 to protect themselves from wolves. Men struck people with strips of animal hide; women believed that this made them more fertile.
-The early Christian church had at least two saints named Valentine.
-One story says that Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he believed unmarried men made better soldiers. A priest named Valentine secretly married young couples.
-Another says that Valentine was an early Christian who was imprisoned for refusing to worship the Roman gods. His friends tossed notes to him through his cell window.
-Many stories say that Valentine was executed on February 14 about 269 A.D.
-Cupid: Cupid is a well-known symbol of Valentine’s Day. He is armed with a bow and arrows in order to pierce people’s hearts.
-In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
-In ancient Greece, Cupid was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
-Timeline: 496 A.D. – Pope Gelasius I names February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. 1847 – Esther Howland, of Worchester, Massachusetts, becomes one of the first U.S. manufacturers of valentines.
-1868 – The first “chocolate box” is introduced by Richard Cadbury, when he decorates a candy box with a painting of his young daughter holding a kitten in her arms. Cadbury also invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box.
-2013 – The National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. consumers will spend $18.6 billion on the holiday.