1. Why we celebrate it on February 14
Ah, the most important of Valentine’s Day facts: why it’s celebrated on the 14th of February.
February 14 is the feast of St. Valentine, a Catholic saint who was executed by Roman Emperor Claudius II on that date sometime during the third century A.D.
Many legends surround the reason for his death sentence.
The most popular one says he was a priest who married young couples after Claudius outlawed marriage for young men (apparently they were better soldiers when they weren’t romantically attached).
Another says he helped save Catholics who were imprisoned for their religious beliefs.
However, the holiday may have been promoted to overshadow the pagan festival Lupercalia.
Between February 13 and 15, Romans celebrated by sacrificing a goat and a dog and whipping women with their hides.
Crude as it may seem, people believed this made women more fertile, and women actually lined up to get slapped with bloody hides.
In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I outlawed Lupercalia and officially declared February 14 Valentine’s Day.
The only good time for love to hurt is when it’s funny enough to split your sides.
Make your sweetheart giggle on February 14 with these real-life hilarious Valentine’s Day stories.
2. Why we call people “Valentine”
Don’t worry, there’s a good reason we call our sweethearts the name of a beheaded priest.
Legend has it that when St. Valentine was in prison, he prayed with the daughter of one of his judges and cured her blindness.
Before his execution, he wrote her a letter, signing it “From your Valentine.” Whether or not this was a romantic gesture is up for debate.
Nevertheless, the signature caught on and is still used to show affection.
Being single on Valentine’s Day can be a drama-free blessing instead of an I-don’t-want-to-die-alone-and-have-my-cats-eat-me curse.
3. Why we draw hearts the way we do
If we were anatomically correct when we drew hearts, the result would be a complex clump of valves and muscles.
While the shape we’re more familiar with is a lot easier to draw, no one really knows the origin of the heart shape.
One possibility is that it resembles the now-extinct plant silphium.
Once found in the African city-state Cyrene, the plant was used as food colouring, a cough syrup, and most notably, a contraceptive.
The shape’s association with sex eventually turned into one of love.
The other suggestion is actually anatomical in nature. Some have thought the shape to be a representation of breasts, buttocks, sexual organs, or an inaccurate depiction of a real heart.
Pamper loved ones this Valentine’s Day with a gift of this sweet-smelling moisturising mixture.