12 Feb Everything you ever wanted to know about Valentine’s Day
Everything you ever wanted to know about Valentine’s Day
People are searching for answers as well as love as the holiday approaches
Some people are eagerly awaiting Valentine’s Day, others dread it. But everyone it seems has questions!
Before we go any further, we want you to know that Valentine’s Day 2018 falls on Wednesday, February 14. (That’s the answer to the number one question people are asking, according to Google Trends!)
For those of you who think it is men who don’t know what to get their sweethearts, think again! Number two on the list of Google’s Valentine’s searches is What to get your boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?. Pinterest is awash with hundreds upon hundreds of suggestions, but if you don’t have time to wade through all those images, try these helpful lists:
- For the younger crowd, Seventeen magazine has a list of “non-lame” gift ideas.
- Real Simple went after unique ideas – and found 43 of them.
- Good Housekeeping has 40 helpful suggestions.
Of course, you could ask a man for advice, but why bother when there’s AskMen.com.They have lists for a variety of needs, including the best Valentine’s Day gifts for all kinds of budgets and all kinds of guys, the best gifts for men and presents for boyfriend.
According to Google Trends, we also want to know:
- How many days until Valentine’s Day?
- What is there to do for Valentine’s Day?
- Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Turns out that last one is actually a really good question! Apparently, the origins of our celebration of romance are rather fuzzy.
According to Arnie Seipel, editor of NPR’s, Washington Desk, it might have been the ancient Romans who got the ball rolling. https://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day “From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain,” he tells us.
It’s pretty much downhill from there.
Seipel turned to Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, to get the whole story. Lenski told him that young women lined up, waiting for their turn to be hit. The idea was that this would make them fertile. Seipel goes on to explain that, “The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.”
Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story.
“The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love,” Seipel tells us. “Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.”
FROM NPR: A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine — one of them, anyway. The Romans executed two men by that name on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
You’ll find a more thorough exploration of the holiday’s roots on History.com.http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day They tell us that, “During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.”
And here’s an interesting tidbit you can impress your sweetheart with, courtesy of History.com:
“The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.)”
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