Why Is It Called Valentine's Day?

Valentine’s Day, with its romantic connotations, is one of the most famous holidays in the whole world. Every year, 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent, making it the second-most popular holiday behind only Christmas. Because of this, it is surprising that the exact origins of Valentine’s Day are unclear. Although commonly called a “Hallmark holiday,” its origins actually go back centuries. 

Of course, Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine. However, there were several saints named Valentine, and no one is sure which one the holiday refers to. According to one legend, there was a Saint Valentine who, while in prison, wrote a letter to his jailor’s daughter, signing it “from your Valentine.” According to another version, one of the Saint Valentines disobeyed the commands of the emperor and performed secret marriages for young couples. Whatever the ultimate reason, eventually the feast day of Saint Valentine became associated with love. 

That association goes back at least to the 1300s, when Geoffrey Chaucer, of “The Canterbury Tales” fame, wrote a poem titled “Parliament of Fowls.” According to the poem, it was on Saint Valentine’s Day that every bird came forth “to choose his mate.” Not long after, Charles, Duke of Orléans, wrote a love letter to his wife, which began, “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.” By Shakespeare’s time, Valentine’s Day’s connection with lovers was so well known that he has Ophelia sing a song about being Hamlet’s “valentine.”

Given this history, it makes sense that England, the home of Chaucer and Shakespeare (and where the French duke happened to be imprisoned when he wrote his billet-doux) is where Valentine’s Day became the holiday we know today. It is in England that lovers and potential lovers first bestowed the women they were courting with gifts, including flowers and chocolates. This can be a good starting point when thinking about what to get your significant other for Valentine’s Day this year. 

After all these years, roses are still the most popular gift for women on Valentine’s Day. If you want to get your wife or girlfriend something a little more personal, you could opt for a stuffed animal, especially a teddy bear. Depending on how far you are into your relationship, jewelry could be well received. Necklaces and earrings are perennially popular choices. Couples massages are always a hit, and nowadays the technology exists to give her a couple massage from the comfort of your own home with a NAIPO massager. 

Shopping for men for Valentine’s Day is somehow both easier and harder. It is easier because men generally expect less than women, but harder because they are often less communicative about what they want. Cologne is a fashionable choice, as are sartorial options such as belts, wallets, and neckties. If you really want to wow them, you could step it up a notch and get them a brand new watch. The best way to ensure your husband or boyfriend enjoys his Valentine’s Day gift for a long time is to give him something that can help him relax and unwind, day in and day out. Once again, NAIPO products fit the bill. Whether you are shopping for man or woman, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, you are sure to find the perfect romantic gift at naipocare.com.