How has Valentines Day celebrated through the ages?
Lupercalia – The Roman holiday that was devoted to fertility and St. Valentine. In Ancient Rome it was celebrated from February 13-15 and was abolished in 496.
Chaucer’s Love Birds – Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a story of romantic love in Parlement of Foules in 1382. It is the first recorded association of Valentine’s day meant to honor the first anniversary of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia.
"For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make"
(For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.)
Medieval through the Renaissance – In the 1400s, Valentine’s day was established in Paris and mentioned by Ophelia in Hamlet. Charles, the Duke of Orleans, wrote to his wife in 1400 mentioning Valentine’s Day when he was locked in the Tower of London.
Modern Times – In the 1790s, a British publisher published "The Young Man’s Valentine Writer" which compiled a series of loving verses to be used as an idea for the young lover. Valentines became popular throughout the past hundreds of years.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. The first mass-produced valentines were sold in the 1840s. In Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.