Valentine’s Day: a Hallmark holiday? A scam to make drugstores more money? What’s a Valentine?
Well, actually, the question is who was Valentine? St. Valentine!
St. Valentine was a martyr from Ancient Rome, and he is the patron saint of love. Not much is known about him, though according to legend, he performed weddings in secret that parents had forbade. For this, he was supposedly beheaded on February 14th, hence the date of celebration.
The holiday has been celebrated since at least the 14th century, way before the Hallmark company was a twinkle in Joyce Hall’s eye (The Hallmark company was founded 109 years ago).
Charles VI of France would throw parties in honor of the holiday.Also according to legend, it was St Valentine who wrote the first Valentine card. After healing a blind woman, he sent her a card to read, signed “Your Valentine.” This explains the holiday’s association with cards. Mass produced cards in the US didn’t come around until the mid-1800s
Valentine’s Day, while a large source of economic activity in February, isn’t a trick holiday; it’s about love!