Valentine's Day is a time of year when people express their love and affection for one another with flowers, cards, and chocolates. But where did this holiday come from? The origins of Valentine's Day are shrouded in mystery and legend.
The Pagan festival of Lupercalia
Dr Heather Lynn / The Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia
One theory is that the holiday traces its roots back to ancient Rome, where a festival called Lupercalia was celebrated in mid-February. The festival, which honoured the Roman god of fertility, included sacrifices and the exchange of love notes between men and women. Some historians believe that the Christian church may have co-opted this pagan festival as a way to Christianize the culture.
The story of Saint Valentine
Christine Egbert / A stained glass window of Saint Valentine
Another theory is that the holiday is named for Saint Valentine, a martyr who lived in the 3rd century.
Saint Valentine was a priest in ancient Rome, and is said to have performed secret marriages for young couples; in defiance of the then-Emperor Claudius II's ban on marriages and engagements. This ban was put in place because Claudius believed that single men made better soldiers than married ones.
Valentine's bravery and devotion to love earned him a reputation as the patron saint of love and romance, and his story has inspired countless people over the centuries. Today, Saint Valentine's feast day is celebrated on February 14th, and it has become a beloved holiday celebrated by couples around the world.
Matt Nelson / Valentine’s day
While much of the history of Saint Valentine and the festival of Lupercalia is shrouded in mystery and legend, their legacy endures. In fact, Valentine's Day has become one of the most popular holidays of the year, celebrated with flowers, chocolates, and romantic gestures. Whether you are single or in a relationship, there's no denying the magic of this special day.
Whatever its origins, Valentine's Day has evolved over the centuries to become a day of romance and love. And in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, it's more important than ever to take a step back and celebrate the people we care about.
Giving jewellery as a gift on Valentine’s Day
Alongside flowers and cards, jewellery has become one of the most popular gifts to give on Valentine's Day. The giving of jewellery as a romantic gesture has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations where it was used as a symbol of love and commitment. In the Middle Ages, people would exchange rings as a symbol of their love and devotion.
In modern times, the giving of jewellery on Valentine's Day has become a tradition for many couples. Diamond engagement rings, for example, are often given as a symbol of a couple's commitment to spend their lives together. Necklaces, bracelets and earrings are also popular gifts for Valentine's Day. Nowadays, these gifts can be personalised and customised to make them even more meaningful. They are not only a token of love but also a precious memory of the time and occasion.
The type of jewellery you give as a Valentine's Day gift will depend on your relationship with the person you're giving it to and their personal taste. Here are a few options to consider.
Diamonds are a classic choice for Valentine's Day. Diamond rings, earrings, and pendants are all popular options. If you're looking to express your love and commitment to your partner, a diamond engagement ring or a diamond anniversary band may be the perfect choice.
A personalised piece of jewellery is a thoughtful and unique gift. You can have a special message engraved on a piece of jewellery, or get their name or initials inscribed. This will make the jewellery item special and unique to the person you're giving it to.
Gold and silver jewellery
Gold and silver jewellery are also popular choices for Valentine's Day gifts. You can opt for something simple such as a gold/silver chain or pendant, or go for something more elaborate such as a filigree necklace or a statement bangle.
If your loved one has a favourite gemstone, you could give them a piece of jewellery featuring that gemstone. For example, a ruby necklace or earrings for a July birthstone, a sapphire for September and so on.
You can also opt for matching jewellery, for example, a pair of matching rings, bracelets or necklaces. This would give you a sense of togetherness and will be a nice way of showing your affection and commitment.
Jonathan Borba / A couple enjoying themselves on Valentine’s Day
Ultimately, what's most important is that the jewellery item you choose comes from the heart, and that it is something that your loved one will cherish and appreciate. Remember, the effort and thought put into the gift is often more important than the cost or material of the item.
In conclusion, Valentine's Day may have its origins in ancient Rome or Saint Valentine, who is celebrated as the patron saint of love, however the true origins are not clear and may have multiple interpretations. But the important thing is to celebrate the people you love and care for, no matter the origins of the holiday. Show them your love, affection and appreciation.