The Weird History behind Valentines Day

Valentines Day conjures up visions of heart shaped candy boxes, red roses, conversation hearts, teddy bears and smooches.

However, the history of Valentines Day isn't quite so adorable. It's hard to pinpoint the exact origin, but most historians agree that it is linked to a ancient Roman feast called Lupercalia celebrated between February 13-15th. Lupercalia involved the men in the town slaughtering an animal and whipping the women in the town with the freshly skinned hide, believing it would make them more fertile. According to Noel Lenski, a religious studies professor at Yale University, "everyone was drunk and naked." Sounds like quite the party!

In the 5th century legend has it that Pope Gelasius put a stop to all the debauchery and named February 14th as a saints day after a Priest beheaded in the third century. Today the Catholic church actually recognizes 3 saints with the name Valentine, all of which were martyred. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and—most importantly—romantic figure.

Such is the wild and rather dark and meandering path of Valentines day to the sweet and romantic version of Valentines Day we have today. We give gifts to our sweethearts now instead of slapping them with a goat hide and our valentines day cards include images of hearts and kittens instead of beheaded religious martyrs. 

Personally, I am more than ok with this evolution. 

Now that you know the history of the day it's time to consider how you want to celebrate! In case this involves presenting your sweetheart with a token of your affection, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite Valentines Day treats in the shop!

1) Louis Sherry Chocolates. Artist Darcy Miller designed this cute tin specifically for Valentines Day and the delectable raspberry chocolates inside are heart shaped. 

2) Mela Artisans Inlay Box. So sweet, and even sweeter with a love note tucked inside. You can find it here.
3) Nest Wellness Candle in Rosewater and Himalayan Sea Salt. Give the gift of aromatherapy. Light this candle in the bathroom, draw a hot bath and settle in to recharge and soothe, either solo or with your sweetheart!
4) A beautiful cast brass Geranium leaf trinket dish. Hand crafted in Virginia in 1948. Perfect for the green thumb in your life. Find it here.
5) This exquisite and completely unique vintage Capo di monte Demitasse Tea Service from the 1950's. The decadence and cherubs make it both amazing and very Valentine appropriate. Call Antique Exchange Interiors for more information!
6) These layered sequin hoop earrings from Ink and Alloy are a perfect Galentine's Gift. At only $30 you can snag a pair for you and your bestie! 
To see more, come visit the shop! Have a wonderful Valentines day, whether you celebrate with a significant other or solo with your favorite takeout and a bottle of wine! Ultimately it's just a day to appreciate what you have.


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