Valentine’s Day is named in honour of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers who, it is believed, was murdered on February 14 AD 270. The Roman emperor Claudius II cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome, as he believed married men, being emotionally attached to their wives and families, did not make good soldiers.
Valentine secretly married couples until he was caught. One legend suggests he left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter before his death which said “Love from your Valentine,” the first Valentine’s card.
It was the pope who set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine in AD 496. However, the day was not often celebrated until the Middle Ages. Gift giving and exchanging of hand-made cards became common in England around the 18th century, while in the 1840s the holiday caught on in the US.
But while the day is about love, cards, chocolates and flowers in the US and Canada, the day is celebrated differently around the world. For example, in Finland the day marks the honoring of friends, not lovers.
So on this day, remember to honor your friends as well as your lovers!
And as a designer, don’t forget to add that bright spot of color in the midst of your winter designs.