There are a few definite, known things about Valentine’s Day.
We know that it is a day of love, that we are to shower our loved ones in displays of affections, and we are to eat an unhealthy amount of chocolate. Some revel in the glory of love while others curse the holiday to the depths of its existence, devaluing as a “Hallmark Holiday” constructed to simple push the sales of candy and cards. No matter how you feel about this holiday and it’s implications, the truth is that there is a ton of lore and history behind it.
For instance, did you know that there are actually three saints that Valentine’s Day origins stem from?
The Catholic church recognizes that there were three saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. In one legend, when Emperor Claudius II mandated that all young soldiers were to refrain from marriage in order to be better soldiers, Bishop Valentine defied him and married couple in secret. He was put to death when the Emperor discovered his secret ceremonies. There is also the rumor that Valentine was imprisoned and fell in love with a jailer’s daughter, who visited him during his sentence. Before his death, he sent her a letter that ended in “from your Valentine.” Another theory suggests that a Valentine helped Christians escape the harsh conditions of Roman prisons.
Aside from a fascinating history, there are plenty of modern and historical facts worth knowing. Do you know where the first chocolate candy box came from? Or what women used to do so they could dream about their future husbands on Valentine’s Day? To learn the answers to these two fun facts and quite a few more, click through our slideshow so you can fall in love with Valentine’s Day a little more.
1. Not Just a Hallmark Holiday.
Though it is often claimed to be a holiday made up by the popular greeting card company, Hallmark didn’t produce its first Valentine’s Day card until 1913. This is literally centuries after the first declaration of the official holiday in 1537.
2. In Your Dreams.
Ladies in medieval times who were looking for a suitor come Valentine’s Day had an interesting tradition. So they could dream of their future spouses, women would spend the evening eating bizarre foods in hopes of seeing the one they were meant for in their dreams.
3. The First Phone.
If you’re missing your honey on Valentine’s Day and want to hi on the telephone, you can thank Alexander Graham Bell. It was on Valentine's Day in 1876, he applied for a patent for the telephone.
4. Where Did That Heart-Shaped Box Originate?
John Cadbury, a coffee and tea shop owner in Birmingham England discovered the profitability behind chocolate manufacturing in 1822. In 1822 his son Richard packaged Cadbury chocolates, known really for their Easter creme eggs, in the world’s first heart-shaped box.
5. Lovesick Cure
We knew that chocolate was pretty powerful but we had no idea how much docotors believed in it. Physicians in the 1800s used to prescribe patients a dose of chocolate to cure the pangs of lost love.
Check out more surprising facts about the holiday of love.
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