The History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for as long as we can remember – but how many of us actually know the history of Valentine’s Day?
The festival, so feverishly celebrated around the world, has only recently become synonymous with the notion of romantic love. Valentine’s Day has its roots going back to the Christian and Roman tradition, legend has it that during the 3rd century, a Roman Emperor named Claudius II outlawed marriage for all young soldiers. Claudius’ argument was that single men made better soldiers as they were devoid of distraction. Enter Saint Valentine, a priest of Rome, who not only saw the Emperor’s injustice to single men, but also decided to defy him by secretly performing marriages for soldiers.
Claudius decided to imprison Saint Valentine. According to legend, Claudius grew to be impressed by Valentine and offered him the option of converting to Roman paganism in exchange for Valentine’s life. But Valentine wasn’t so easily fooled – he proposed a counter offer to convert the Emperor to Christianity!
Infuriated by Saint Valentine’s audacity, Claudius executed him. Whilst imprisoned awaiting his fate, Valentine reportedly cured the jailer’s, Asterius, daughter of her blindness. Before his death, he left Asterius a letter signed “Your Valentine,” an expression which later became famous in modern Valentine’s Day letters.
Valentine’s Day as we know it now
It was only during the Middle Ages that Valentine’s Day began to be seen as a day to celebrate courtly love, and by the 1900s, cards for Valentine’s Day had started to manufacture, and who was to know that in the next hundred years or so, almost a billion Valentine’s Day cards would be sold each year? This makes Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, after Christmas.
Amongst the top three most-bought gifts for Valentine’s Day are decidedly cards, flowers and chocolates. Though these may be thoughtful and the obvious gifts that you would choose for your Valentine, none of these really qualify for immortalising your love, which actually is the premise behind Valentine’s Day! You want to do something utmost great and unexpected for your Valentine, something they will cherish forever.
If you equate love with marriage, the result is an engagement ring, and reason enough, the next most popular gift for Valentine’s Day is engagement rings. Perfectly symbolic of the sentiment revolving around Valentine’s Day, engagement rings are the best way to profess your love to your sweetheart whilst giving them a memento of your love to cherish forever. With February 14th being the epitome of romantic love and one of the most popular proposal days, you too can forever etch your sacred bond on a day that commemorates togetherness, passion and romance by proposing to your loved one.
The Gift of Diamonds
Valentine’s Day gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase your everlasting and eternal love through a beautiful diamond ring. At Taylor & Hart, we offer you bespoke diamond engagement rings crafted with ardour, perfect for that special occasion that you will remember forever. Inspired by timeless elegance, simplicity and beauty, our exquisite collection offers you ready-to-wear designs as well as the brilliant opportunity to create a bespoke engagement ring as unique as your love.
Opt for a heart-shaped solitaire in rose gold or a princess-shaped halo ring in white gold as the perfect engagement gift this Valentine’s Day, or better, create your own one-of-a-kind engagement ring under the guidance of our designers. Also, as part of our appreciation, we set your custom ring with our signature ruby.
Set alight the fire of love and passion on Valentine’s Day this February and gift your better half an engagement ring they will treasure for years to come, and you can be assured that your Valentine will say yes to you this season of love.