Valentine’s Day Trivia
Valentine’s Day is full of traditions dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. Here’s a list of some interesting ones you may not have known about amid all the candy and flowers that surround it today. Maybe you’d like to bring a few back?
The phrase “Sweets for the sweet” is a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week.
They also people believed that the first unmarried person of the opposite sex you met on the morning of St. Valentine’s Day would become your spouse.
The oldest surviving valentine dates from 1415. It is a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London.
During the Civil War there were special valentines for soldiers and their sweethearts. Some showed couples parting ways. Others had a tent with flaps that opened to reveal a soldier.
The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules, written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. He wrote: For this was on seynt Volantynys day/Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make. (“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”)