Valentines Day will soon be upon us. As soon as the New Year celebrations are over it will be time to plan for our next major holiday which is Valentines Day. This is a day that many of us like to show the people close to us how much we love them. Have you ever wondered why we have a Valentine’s Day and how it was originated? Well if you have or haven’t I was curious to know why some things like symbols are used during Valentines Day and what their significance is to this day of celebrating love.
There are myths and stories behind this day so I will make it a simpler story. Valentines Day has been associated with St. Valentine; a priest that defied Emperor Claudius II in Rome during ancient times. Claudius outlawed marriage among his soldiers saying that single men made better soldiers if they were not distracted by having a wife and family. St. Valentine secretly performed marriages and was put to death when he was discovered. He was executed on February 14th.
Here are some symbols of Valentines Day and their meanings:
• Valentines…Before Valentines’ death he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter; whom it was believed he was in love with while he was in prison. He signed this letter “From Your Valentine”. This has since become a day for lovers and for showing love. It has since been a tradition to send cards, flowers, and candy to loved ones. So that’s why we have Valentine Cards. (Valentines Day cards are exchanged annually (188 million) making Valentines Day the second most greeting card giving occasion. This is not including the ones that children exchange in their classrooms).
• Cupid…Do you know why “Cupid” the winged child-like little angelic figure is associated with our modern Valentines Day? Cupid is the son of Venus; the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Cupid was known to cause people to fall in love by shooting them with magic arrows.
• Roses…Red roses were said to be the favorite flower of Venus. Pink roses is a sign that you are interested and attracted to the person you are sending the flower to, and yellow roses stands for friendship. White roses represent purity and faith.
• Red…red is the color that signifies strong feelings. Red is the color of love. It is the color of blood that surges through our hearts.
• Heart…the heart is the most vulnerable part of our being. The heart is a traditional European icon representing love.
• “X”…the X sign represents a kiss. (This tradition started with the medieval practice of allowing those who could not write to sign documents with an “X”. This was done before witnesses and the signer placed a kiss upon the “X” to show sincerity)