Contact Us

Dale’s Daily Data: Valentine’s Day

Getty Images

There are a couple of legends behind the history of Valentine’s Day.

One tale says, after the Roman god Lupercus drove a wild, roaming pack of wolves out of Rome, an annual festival was held in his honor on the 15th of February.  On the night before the holiday, on the 14th, each Roman girl would put her name on a slip of paper and the young men would then draw a name from the jar in a kind of “love lottery” – maybe a  forced marriage would put it in better terms.

A Catholic legend dates back to third-century Rome and involves a priest named Valentine who sent the first “valentine” greeting himself.  Emperor Claudius the Second decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young men.  But Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform secret marriages.  When Claudius found out, Valentine was ordered put to death.

While he was in jail, the priest fell in love with a young woman, who may have been the jailer’s daughter.   Before his death, he wrote her a letter, and signed it  “From your Valentine.”  He sent the letter on February 14th.

Eventually the Catholic Church banned the practice of the “love lottery,” restored the institution of marriage and proclaimed Valentine a saint, declaring February 14th a day in his honor.

Some Valentine’s Traditions –

In the Middle Ages, young men and women would wear the name of the person they love on a slip of paper on their sleeve for a week.  From that comes the term wearing your heart on your sleeve.

In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man, but she would be very happy.  If she saw a finch, she would marry a rich man.

Another tradition is to think of the names of five or six men or women you might like to marry. As you twist the stem of an apple, say the names until the stem comes off.  That’s the person you’ll marry.  If you cut the apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you’ll also know how many children you’ll have.


Best of WYRK

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Country Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Country Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.