494 to Present
U.S., Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, and Australia.Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
Another legend is that Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods. Being imprisoned for this, Valentine gave his testimony in prison and through his prayers healed the jailer's daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution, he left her a note that was signed, "Your Valentine". there are two possible figures behind the character of Saint Valentine Saint Valantine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Terni.
The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is believed to be in Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls (1382), a dream vision portraying a parliament for birds to choose their mates. Honouring the first anniversary of the engagement of fifteen-year-old King Richard II of England to fifteen-year-old Anne of Bohemia.
Shakespeare mentions Saint Valentine's Day in Ophelia’s lament in Hamlet, where he referred to the superstition that if two single people meet on the morning of Saint Valentine's Day they will likely get married: To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.
The sharing of love-notes between sweethearts seems to have been common practice, as it was first published in 1797, The Young Man's Valentine Writer or the High Road to Love; for both Sexes. That included gems of sentimental rhymes.
Through out early 19th century, the industrial revolution of Britain brought rapid developments throughout printing and manufacturing technologies. Mass-production of Valentine's cards was simpler than ever, and soon was widely popular. It is estimated that about 200,000 Valentines had circulated in London alone by the mid-1820s. The success of Valentine's cards further increased in 1840, reports suggest that by the late 1840s the amount of cards being circulated doubled, doubling once again in the next two decades.
In vectorian era Vinegar valentines were commercially purchased less beautiful postcards than their love-filled counterparts, and they featured an offensive poem and illustration. They were sent anonymously, and the receiver would have guessed who hated him or her. They gained popularity from the 1840s to the 1940s.
Esther Howland, whose father owned the largest stationery shop in Worcester, Massachusetts, is dubbed the “Mother of the American Valentine” and credited with producing the first Valentines printed mass market in the USA. Howland created a series of Valentine's Day cards in 1849, after being inspired by one sent from England to her. Due to her cards being shipped all over the country her business eventually grossed over $100,000 per year, a considerable sum for that time, and she eventually sold the business to George Whitney in 1880.