• The modern day celebration of Valentine’s Day is believed to begin in France and England. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be celebrated around the 17th Century.
By the middle of the 18th Century, it was common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.
• In Medieval times, girls ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine’s Day to dream of their future spouse. There was a belief in the Middle Ages that the first unmarried person (of the opposite sex) you met on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day would become your spouse.
• In olden times, it is said that the kind of bird a girl watches on Valentine’s Day predicts her future husband.
If a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire, Owl: remain spinster, Blackbird: a priest or clergyman, Crossbill: an argumentative man.
• The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Since red stands for strong feelings, the red rose is a flower of love.
• In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Valentine’s Day. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite Valentine decorations on the wooden spoons that meant, “You unlock my heart!”
• If an apple is cut in half, the number of seeds found inside the fruit will indicate the number of children that individual will have.
• Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s play lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine’s Day.
• In the middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
• On February 14, 1779, Captain James Cook, the great English explorer and navigator, was murdered by natives of Hawaii during his third visit to the Pacific island group.
• A ring has been included in wedding ceremonies since the 12th century. Pope Innocent the Third ordained that marriages had to take place in church and that a wedding ring should be exchanged during the service.
• Many believe the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X.’ the ‘X’ was then kissed to show their sincerity.
• Casanova, well known as “The World’s Greatest Lover,” ate chocolate to make him virile. Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800’s.
• In Japan, women are expected to give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine’s Day. This tradition was started as a marketing campaign by Japanese chocolate companies. Men are not off the hook, unfortunately. They are expected to return the favor on March 14th, commonly known as White Day.
“Love comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”—Timothy 1:5.