No matter what you call it (Galentine’s Day, Single Awareness Day, etc.); it doesn’t hurt to show and sprinkle a little bit of love to the people around you this February 14. Whether you give flowers, gifts, and even a humongous heart neon sign, it’s vital to spend Valentine’s with your loved ones.
Speaking of Valentine’s, we bet you are curious about how the holiday came. Why is February 14 the day to spread love and show affection? Who created the popular Valentine’s traditions?
Why is the concept of love associated with the heart symbol? And why does the heart not resemble the actual human heart in the first place?
Heart of the Matter: How Valentine’s Became the Day of Love
As you may have deduced, Valentine’s day serves as a way to honor Saint Valentine. While it’s difficult to pinpoint which St. Valentine is the namesake of the holiday (with three canonized St. Valentines), one thing is for sure: all St. Valentines lived their lives sharing boundless love.
Most people associate the holiday with St. Valentine of Rome. He was a priest who performed and blessed secret marriages deemed illegal during Emperor Claudius II’s reign.
Some refer to St. Valentine of Terni as the holiday’s star, a bishop known for being a miracle worker after curing a Roman official’s child and subsequently converting the child’s family into Christians.
There are also stories about a St. Valentine imprisoned after helping Christians escape from Roman officers. Legend says Valentine fell in love with a woman during his time in jail, who may or may not have been a prison guard’s daughter. He also reportedly wrote a letter to his beloved before his death, signing it with “from your Valentine.”
No matter which story you believe, all of these Valentines exhibited great compassion and affection for the people around them. That’s why it’s unsurprising that his feast day is about spreading love.
Moving away from the Christian and Catholic route, some people believe Valentine’s Day may have originated from the pagan festival Lupercalia, celebrated every February 15. The pagans perform several rituals to honor their god of agriculture, believing these actions will bring fertility and purity to their people and harvests.
On the other hand, the French and English populations during the Middle Ages had vastly different ideas about where the holiday came from. According to their beliefs, February 14 is the start of the birds’ mating season, hence its heavy association with love and passion.
Where did the heart symbol originate?
Similar to Valentine’s day's origins, plenty of theories come up when you search for the roots of the modern heart symbol.
One of the most popular ones features the extinct plant silphium, which ancient Greeks and Romans often used as spices, medicine, and birth control. The plant’s form resembles the modern heart sign. Because it is strongly associated with passion and procreation, it’s no surprise that the plant’s shape likewise became a symbol of love.
Another theory explains that scientists and artists of the Middle Ages are responsible for the symbol. Historians hypothesize that the heart symbol resulted from these intellectuals’ failed attempts at accurately drawing an anatomical sketch of the human heart.
Experts also report how medieval people saw the heart as a place of memory, where your feelings for your beloved are written and where God’s commands are inscribed. The popularization of Valentine’s Day during the 17th century only strengthened the use of the heart symbol.
Baring Your Heart: 4 Ways to Express Your Love This Valentine’s
Knowing the history of the holiday and its representations gives us a deeper understanding and appreciation for the day of love. It’s time to express our undying love and endless gratitude for the ones around us this February.
Stick to Tradition: Flower Bouquets
It may be cliché and trite, but it’s undoubtedly tradition. How else can you best show love and appreciation without the typical Valentine’s essentials? Flowers!
Red roses, pink tulips, rose lilies, and white daisies are popular and obvious choices. But if you want to stand out and avoid being cliché, try giving chrysanthemums to show your love and passion. Giving honeysuckles is also an excellent choice to express devoted affection. And yellow pansies tell your loved ones that you think of them constantly!
It’s best to search or ask your florist about the meanings and symbolisms of each flower before buying a bouquet.
Share Your Feelings: Handwritten Letters
Another way to bare your heart out this Valentine’s is to write sincere handwritten letters. We know not everyone can be the best at expressing their thoughts and feelings through writing, but doing so lets your loved ones know just how important and precious they are to you.
You can try:
- Listing the features, traits, and little mannerisms you adore about them
- Writing about a cherished memory you had with your beloved
- Sharing how much they influenced and affected your life
- Saying how much you value their presence.
One of the best gifts you can give to your valentine is by giving a piece of yourself to them through writing. You don’t even need to write a romantic letter. Instead, you can write poems, stories, and short love notes. Regardless of the tip you follow, the bottom line is to be vulnerable and open.
Eat Your Heart Out: Valentine’s Dinner
The final and most important ingredient of every meal is love. Treating your loved ones with a lovely evening meal on Valentine’s Day makes complete sense. You can set a dinner reservation at their favorite restaurant or cook their favorite meals yourself.
Red wine and champagne are excellent compliments to any Valentine’s dinner. For dessert, perhaps you can have a sweet slice of cake, share a bar of chocolate, or try some chocolate truffles!
Make it Personal: Custom LED Neon Light
If none of our other gift ideas are enticing enough, perhaps a traditional neon light is a perfect present for the light of your life! A neon sign is a great wall decor to hang and illuminate your beloved’s space.
A pink “Forever in Love” LED neon sign is a suitable Valentine’s gift. You can also give a red “Always & Forever” neon sign as a promise to your loved ones. Even a simple neon heart light will do! What’s more, you can have your neon signs customized.
Spread Love and Joy with LED neon signs from Neonize
The day of love may be a painful reminder of how empty life can get. But we shouldn’t refrain from showing affection to other loved ones on February 14. With the knowledge of its origin story, you can’t deny that the holiday is simply rooted in the gift of love, romantic or otherwise.
Let your love and devotion shine bright with Neonize!
Neonize offers a wide range of neon signs and lights with various trendy designs. Our neon lights and signs are made with LED neon flex, PVC, and acrylic materials encased in flex rubber tubing, ensuring that our products are energy-efficient and water-resistant.
You can also purchase a custom neon sign. Send your personal design and we’ll Neonize it for you. Check our selection and celebrate the day of love with Neonize!