14th February will soon be upon us… the much-celebrated day of St Valentine. But do we really know the origins of St Valentine’s day? Who was St Valentine? And how do we celebrate today?
Our eight interesting facts should help throw some rose-tinted light on the subject:
- The most popular theory about the origin of St Valentine is when the Roman Emperor Claudius II was opposed to his men marrying during wartime. Bishop Valentine defied the Emperor’s wishes and performed secret weddings for the soldiers. Valentine was jailed for such terrible deceit, and before his execution, wrote a farewell note to the jailor’s daughter, signing it “your Valentine”.
- The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. Apparently this was the origin of the expression ‘to wear your heart on your sleeve’.
- In 1537, King Henry VIII officially declared 14th February the celebration of St Valentine’s Day.
- In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a name inside a Valentine’s card.
- Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800’s.
- In Finland, Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä; the translation being ‘Friends Day’. It’s more about remembering friends than loved ones.
- Every Valentine’s Day the Italian city of Verona, home to Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet, receives about 1000 letters addressed to Juliet.
Surely a date worthy of celebration!
Enjoy this Valentine’s evening in style with our delectable Valentine’s dinner …including our divine dessert for two. Our fine dining special menu is available on our Restaurant page.