Whether you celebrate it or not, it’s hard to avoid Valentines Day. It seems like as soon as we shove Santa back into his basement box the stores start to fill with pink and red, heart shaped, chocolate covered items galore. Personally I am neither for or against this day but I do appreciate the abundance of chocolate covered everything that tends to appear.
While it’s pretty well known that I fear anything hug-related, my gift to you are these three facts to give you a better understanding of how today came to be.
Plus, its cheaper than buying you all chocolate.
1. The holiday is created.
The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.
2. The date is declared.
In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.
3. The gift is selected.
From the moment chocolate was discovered it was considered valuable, divine, and decadent, so what better gift to give a woman? The first chocolate candies (as we know them today) were invented in the 1860s by Cadbury, who was also the first to market them in a heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day that same decade.