Valentines Day We don’t think there should be rules about what type of flowers to send on St. Valentines Day. They don’t have to be roses, they don’t have to be red and it doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day. So how did these conventions come about in the first place?

The day itself has been celebrated as the feast of lovers for centuries. Its origins are muddled but date back to Roman times.


Valentines Day

14th February was the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a licentious festival of fertility where, by lottery, couples were coupled together for, well…….coupling.
The date also coincides with the martyrdom of St. Valentine. He was a Christian priest executed by The Romans on 14th February for conducting illegal marriages. While awaiting his doom he cured his jailers’ daughter of blindness and is said to have written a note to her signing it “Your Valentine” – the forerunner of the modern Valentine Card. The date became celebrated as a saint’s feast but like many Christian festivals it borrowed from the older pagan traditions of spring, renewal and fertility.

Valentines Day Fast forward to the Middle Ages where, through the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare the date became linked with courtly love.
The 18th century brought the giving of cards, chocolates and flowers with the red rose being a particularly popular choice. Red conveys fire, heat and strong emotion and the rose has symbolised love going back to the days of ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece.

So don’t blame flower shops or Hallmark for the madness at this time of year – it’s all down to ancient history why we celebrate the day in the first place and why the red rose is the most popular choice of flower.

Some interesting facts about the day:

Valentines Day – Over 100 million roses are supplied by the international flower markets based in Aalsmeer, Holland for Valentines Day.
– 14th February is one of the most popular days for weddings, civil ceremonies and engagements
– 85% of Valentine’s cards sent are sent by women but 73% of the flowers sent are sent by men.
– Dublin has a unique link with St. Valentine – his relics are housed at the Shrine of St, Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church.
– If you are unattached you can celebrate Singles Awareness Day which also falls on 14th
– Up to 15% of women send themselves flowers on Valentines Day.


Writing credit : Anna Finlay

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