Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 10th February 2024

Is Love In The Air?

Image by Kathrynne from Pixabay
Image by Kathrynne from Pixabay
Celebrated on February 14th each year Valentine's Day, the Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentine's Day is a day when all around the world cards, chocolates, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, but roses still seem to be the number one flower. Roses were the favourite flower of the goddess Venus.

Valentine's Day doesn't just have to be for couples as when cards were introduced into the US from England in the 1800s they were sent to friends.

Why hearts as a symbol of love?

Image by naseem abbas naqvi from Pixabay
Image by naseem abbas naqvi from Pixabay
There are lots of symbols to represent love such as roses, cupid and hearts.

The shape of a heart is often seen on cards and chocolates come in heart shaped boxes, but why did the heart become the symbol of love.

The human heart has long been associated with emotion and as it is the centre of the human body it became the symbol of love since love is a strong emotion.

Some quotes about love

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
There is no remedy for love but to love more - Henry David Thoreau
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart - Helen Keller
Love does not dominate; it cultivates - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If I had a flower for every time I thought of you … I could walk through my garden forever - Alfred Lord Tennyson
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies - Aristotle
Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age - Anais Nin
To love at all is to be vulnerable - C.S. Lewis
Where there is love there is life - Mahatma Gandhi
Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
A friend is someone who knows all about you, and still loves you - Elbert Hubbard

Where did it originate?

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
The Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentine's Day originated in honour of the early saints named Valentinus. It was recognised as a cultural and commercial celebration around the world. It was an annual holiday but is no longer a public holiday in any country.

There is a legend that Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned and before his death on the 14th February he wrote a farewell note to the daughter of his jailer signing it "from your Valentine".

In the Middle Ages Valentine became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century first associated the day with romantic love when courtly love flourished as a tradition.

...when cards were introduced into the US from England in the 1800s they were sent to friends...
By the 18th century in England it became an occasion to express love by giving chocolates, flowers and greeting cards, but in Europe keys were given as a romantic symbol to unlock the heart.

Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 wrote the oldest valentine known to be in existence today. It was written to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

King Henry V sent a valentine note to Catherine of Valois several years later, but he employed John Lydgate, a writer to compose it for him.

Some facts about Valentine's Day

February 14th is the second most popular day to send cards after Christmas.
King Henry VIII in 1537 made February 14th an official holiday.
Candy hearts were originally medical lozenges
The chocolate box has been around for more than 140 years
Richard Cadbury, the son of Founder John Cadbury, introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in 1861 for V-Day
King Charles II of Sweden started the tradition of sending flowers
In Ghana February 14th is known as National Chocolate Day
Some Nordic countries celebrate friendship on February 14th
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to get engaged

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash