Valentine’s Day History Trivia: Legend has it that the precursor to our modern day Valentine’s Day may have been celebrated well over 16 centuries ago in the form of an ancient Roman ritual in which young soldiers would pull the name of a girl out of a box. The couple would then exchange gifts on February 15th during a fertility festival called Lupercalia.
During the early Middle Ages as the Catholic church was slowly converting pagan practices and rituals into sanctioned church events, the fertility festival got a makeover. Pope Gelasius designated February 14th as Saint Valentine’s day in honor of the martyred priest who was condemned to death for marrying people in secret and by doing so violated the rulings of Emperor Claudius II. Throughout the following centuries the rituals and customs associated with Valentine’s Day have grown and evolved, but one thing remains the same – an exchange of gifts and sweet sentiments between lovers.
The Color Red and Valentine’s Day: Red symbolizes love, passion, seduction and adventure – definitely key factors in romance, but how did this color become nearly synonymous with Valentine’s Day? Though not a historical fact, some point to the red rose, a symbol of enduring love and passion, as the basis for the now inextricable link between the color red and Valentine’s Day.