Once you've selected the perfect Valentine for your perfect Valentine, allow us to inform you, briefly, of the history of the holiday--and a few global Valentine's Day traditions.
Did you know that there were at least three different saints--each a martyr--who assumed the name Valentine? There are several narrative theories that depict the origins of the holiday. The most popular is that when, during the third century, Emperor Claudius II set laws in place that prohibited young Roman men from getting married, St. Valentine would perform secret marriages. Other theories suggest that the first Valentine was written, by a saint, from his prison cell.
Valentine's Day--in some form, has been and celebrated since the Middle Ages, though the first written Valentines date back to some time after the year 1400.
In Denmark, couples exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops and “lover’s cards,” which were transparent cards. The Welsh present their loved ones with "Love Spoons", or intricately hand-carved wooden spoons-- a tradition that dates back to the 17th century. Different patterns and symbols were carved into these love spoons. Horseshoes symbolize good luck; wheels symbolize support; and keys symbolize the keys to a heart. In South Africa, it's customary to "wear hearts on sleeves"--taken from a Roman tradition called Lupercalia--on February 14th. Women pin the names of their love interest on their sleeves, and men will occasionally reveal their secret admirations in the same manner. In Australia, Valentines were once comprised of satin cushions that were perfumed and decorated with flowers and colored shells. They were ornate and expensive, stored in decorated boxes. In France, cartes d'amities, which were scrolled with handwritten words of affection, were exchanged. In Taiwan, bouquets of roses and other flowers are given. The color and number of the roses holds much significance: one red rose means "an only love,"ninety-nine roses means "forever," and one hundred eight roses means "marry me."
Each of these ideas is steeped in tradition--and many of us have our own--but Valentine's Day is, unarguably, an excellent time to tell the one you love that you love them.
Do so with a piece of Sarah Richey Jewelry!