Yes it’s that time yet again…… So if you have forgotten – woe betide you lol! This tradition started in the Middle ages when lovers sang or recited their valentines, which is rather nice. The valentine card began in the 1400s and the paper ones were made in factories in the early 1800s
This early card is by Esther Howland. an American printer and artist. Howland was one of the first people to publish and sell valentines in the States. This paper lace valentine Circa 1875 is so intricate and astonishing in detail – and a very precious item in the emotionscard museum (beautiful cards here)
According to tradition, The Roman Emperor Claudius at one time banned young men from getting married because he wanted to recruit them for his army. A priest called Valentine went against the Emperor’s wishes and married couples in secret. For this he was put into prison and sentenced to die. A young women wrote to the priest and became his friend. He would sign his letters to the woman ‘Your Valentine’. So Valentine became St Valentine, Roman martyr. or so the story goes….
Valentines have changed a lot over the years. Original ones were made or real lace and very elaborate. But there have been a lot of comical ones too.
Here’s a contemporary valentine card – which I found quite amusing. It’s available from here, and it could be given any time.