The Unromantic Origins of Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day may be associated with romance, but the origin of the holiday isn’t romantic. Here’s the history of Valentine’s Day you may not know—plus the best things to do on Valentine's Day 2021.

When is Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day always falls on February 14. Valentine’s Day 2022 is Monday, February 14.

The history of Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring a Christian martyr named Saint Valentine and is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

So, who was Saint Valentine?

Even though not much is known about the real history of the Saint Valentines on whom the holiday is based, the legend of Saint Valentine has several tellings. One legend says that Saint Valentine refused to convert to paganism and was executed by Roman Emperor Claudius II. Prior to his death, he was able to miraculously heal the daughter of his jailer, who then converted to Christianity along with his family. Another legend says a bishop called Saint Valentine of Terni is the true namesake of the holiday; this Saint Valentine was also executed.

But according to others—and this is how Saint Valentine became affiliated with a love-focused holiday—Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who performed weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry, because of an Roman emperor edict decreeing married soldiers did not make good warriors and thus young men could not marry. This Saint Valentine wore a ring with a Cupid on it—a symbol of love—that helped soldiers recognize him. And, in a precursor to greeting cards, he handed out paper hearts to remind Christians of their love for God.

Because of this legend, St. Valentine became known as the patron saint of love. The Saint Valentine prayer asks Saint Valentine to connect lovers together, so that two become one, and the couple remembers their devotion to God.

While the Saint Valentine story set the groundwork for establishing the day as a holiday for romantic love, what truly solidified the connection between Saint Valentine and love was a poem by medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381, which historians consider the origin of the “modern” celebration of Valentine’s Day, where we celebrate our romantic partnership with one other person.

Best Things to Do on Valentine's Day 2022

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it is time to plan the perfect romantic things! Not quite sure what romantic Valentine’s ideas to celebrate as a couple? Well, we’ve got you covered so you can spoil your sweetheart with romantic things to do for Valentine’s Day! We’ve gathered romantic Valentine ideas for the most memorable Valentine’s Day! You are sure to create some special memories this year with our list!

1. Enjoy Breakfast in Bed

Start the day off right by serving up a romantic Valentine's Day breakfast, then enjoying it together while lounging in bed. Don't forget the champagne.

2. Cook for your loved one

Start researching good recipes for a romantic dinner for two, get the right ingredients, and prepare a couple of practice dinners to make sure you’ve got your technique and presentation down pat. Cooking for someone can be a big turn on and you can create some incredible meals without spending too much money. Take it up a notch by dressing classy, decorating your dining room, and presenting your partner with a printed menu.

3. Exchange Love Letters

Is there anything more romantic than writing a love letter to your sweetheart? Make Valentine's Day even more special by putting in writing why your partner means so much to you.

4. Take a Relaxing Bath

Turn on the warm water, add in your favorite essential oil or bath bomb and forget about your troubles. Oh, and don't skip the candles and music.

5. Give your lover an unforgettable gift

Not only on Valentine's Day, but meaningful gifts can also be kept for a long time. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the best gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Get here for your lover 👉 Valentine Gifts 2022