Valentine’s Day has a long history. Despite this most people believe “facts” about the holiday that are absolutely false. These are only 10 such myths.
If you believe #5, you could be making a HUGE mistake.
Invented by Hallmark
Hallmark did not invent the modern Valentine’s Day celebration or any of its traditions. Giving cards was a tradition that had existed in England since at least the 1800s and was later popularized in the Colonies. Esther Howland was the first to mass-produce Valentine’s cards in America.
Who is St. Valentine?
The Christian basis of the holiday is the celebration of a martyred saint. But here’s the thing: we don’t know which saint. There are a few different saints named Valentine that could potentially fit the bill. There aren’t enough historical records to make the determination of who is who.
Heart on Your Sleeve
There are loads of explanations that try to make sense of the phrase “to wear your heart on your sleeve.” However, as entertaining or even plausible as some of these are, there’s no evidence to support them and all we have is conjecture. But we do know that the earliest appearance of the phrase in writing appears in Shakespeare’s Othello.
It’s a Christian Holiday
Though now it has largely been removed from religion, previously the holiday was a Christian holiday, as mentioned above. But that’s not how it was originally. It began as a pagan holiday celebrated by the Romans and dedicated to fertility and life. When it was eventually co-opted by Christianity it was changed completely.
It’s the Day to Propose
Pop-culture brow-beats us with the idea that Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day to pop the question or get married. However, polls consistently show that (according to women) that simply isn’t true. Common reasons for this include that it’s too expected, too many people do the same, or that if you get married you share your anniversary with countless others.