Will you be my valentine??
Historical facts about Valentine's Day
The origins of Valentine's Day
Lupercalia
A bloody, unpleasant ordeal
What's the deal with Cupid?
Eros
Arrows of love and hate
The Romans gave Eros his chubby, cute appearance
The first ever valentine was written from prison
Historians say Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote the first valentine
How did the letter
A symbol of Christianity and a way to sign important documents
Sealed with a kiss
Wear your heart on your sleeve
The phrase may come from medieval jousts
Impressing a special lady
A chivalrous gesture
Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(1/18)
Will you be my valentine??

Valentine's Day is upon us once again, and many lovers are scrambling to find just the right card, gift, or experience to show their beloved just how much they are cherished. Some really enjoy this holiday that cheers us up in our mid-winter slump, but others claim it is all just commercialism to make us buy more and more.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(2/18)
Historical facts about Valentine's Day

Whatever your stance, we've done a little research on the history of Valentine's Day and discovered some details that will most certainly surprise you! From a bloody pagan ceremony to how the letter "x" became a kiss symbol, click on to read about some historical Valentine's Day curiosities!

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(3/18)
The origins of Valentine's Day

Not all historians agree on the origins of Valentine's Day; however, some trace it back to an effort by Christians to replace a pagan fertility festival that dates back to the 6th century B.C.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(4/18)
Lupercalia

Known as the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would slap women on the streets with the blood-soaked skins of sacrificial goats and dogs.

Photo: By Circle of Adam Elsheimer - Christie

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(5/18)
A bloody, unpleasant ordeal

This bloody, unpleasant ordeal was believed to be a fertility blessing. Per the legend, following their blessing, women would put their names in an urn and would be randomly matched with a man for the duration of one year.

Photo by: Andrea Camassei, Lupercalia, Prado Museum website

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(6/18)
What's the deal with Cupid?

Cupid and Valentine's Day go together like peanut butter and jelly, but have you ever thought about why a chubby baby with wings and a bow and arrow is so closely associated with the day of love?

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(7/18)
Eros

Cupid's origins go back to the Greeks, where he was known as Eros, the god of love. Eros was the son of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(8/18)
Arrows of love and hate

However, Eros didn't only shoot people with arrows of love. He also shot arrows of hate, as he enjoyed toying with the emotions of his targets.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(9/18)
The Romans gave Eros his chubby, cute appearance

Eros wasn't a chubby childlike cherub as we know him today, but rather a handsome man. Eros didn't adopt the appearance of a toddler until the Romans began sharing the stories of his mischief.

Photo: Chris Linnett / Unsplash

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(10/18)
The first ever valentine was written from prison

The story of the first valentine ever written isn't as terribly romantic as many of us might imagine! Charles, Duke of Orleans, at the age of 21, wrote a love letter to his second wife from prison in the early 15th century.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(11/18)
Historians say Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote the first valentine

Charles was held captive at the Battle of Agincourt and held prisoner for over 20 years. Sadly, he was never able to see his wife's reaction to his love poem.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(12/18)
How did the letter "x" come to mean a kiss?

Signing a letter with "xx" is second nature to many of us, and on Valentine's Day, we use the well-known symbol for "kiss" to sign our valentines too. 

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(13/18)
A symbol of Christianity and a way to sign important documents

According to historians, "X" represented Christianity or the cross during the Middle Ages. Many individuals were illiterate during the same period, so an "X" was used to sign documents. 

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(14/18)
Sealed with a kiss

Per History.com, after signing, it was common to "kiss the mark as a sign of their oath." Over the years, the gesture became more common both among royalty and commoners when signing paperwork, books, and letters. Thus, the idea of something being "sealed with a kiss" became etched into society. 

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(15/18)
Wear your heart on your sleeve

The common expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve" means you are open and transparent about your affections. Per The Smithsonian, the expression has its roots in the Middle Ages.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(16/18)
The phrase may come from medieval jousts

According to Merriam-Webster, the phrase may have originated in medieval jousts. During the Middle Ages, a sleeve was not only a part of a piece of clothing that covered your arms but also a protective piece of armor.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(17/18)
Impressing a special lady

When knights competed in a joust, they would often dedicate their efforts to a lady of the courts. To show their dedication, they would wear something of the lady's such as a ribbon tied around their armor sleeve.

Impress your sweetheart with these Valentine's Day curiosities
(18/18)
A chivalrous gesture

Thus spectators knew which lady the knight had his eyes on. Many believe that the origins of "wear your heart on your sleeve" come from this chivalrous gesture.

Más para ti