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The History of Valentine's Day

Roses are red, violets are blue. Valentine's Day is coming, here's the history for you. 

Valentine's Day is coming up! In honour of the day, we thought we'd explore on why exactly we buy 'Valentine' chocolates and stuffed teddy bears for February 14. Here's a quick rundown on the history of V Day.

It Began In Ancient Rome

Legend has it that Valentine's Day started back in third-century Ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius II had forbidden soldiers to marry as he believed single men made better fighters. Priest Valentine at the time was outraged by this and decided to marry soldiers and their wives in secret against the Emperor's wishes. 

Eventually, the priest was found out and sentenced to execution. While in jail he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and wrote her letters signed 'Your Valentine'. 

Around 496 AD Pope Gelasius declared February 14 (the date of the priest's execution) the day to honour Valentine (who had become a saint).

st valentine baptising

St Valentine Baptizing St Lucilla Jacopo Bassano

Folk Traditions

In some European countries, people began associating Valentine's Day with early spring - gift giving sweets, cards, and flowers. In Norfolk particularly, a character 'Jack Valentine' supposedly would knock on the rear door of houses and leave presents for children.

jack valentine

Image: Jack Valentine, The Orange Grove Clinic.

Modern Day

Of course, these days Valentine's is a celebratory day for lovers, with chocolates, cards and candies the norm. Valentine's Day is a 30 billion dollar industry around the world. 

Want to see Satisfine Foods' latest range of Valentine's chocolates? Check our our seasonal Valentine's Day collection for great gift options.