Valentine’s Folklore


Jeremy Pangelinan, Writer

…the story of St. Valentine’s Day begins with ‘birdwatchers…’”

There is much speculation as to where the traditions we celebrate today come from. However, in England during the medieval period, who agreed that birds began mating in February and they gave this a date which is known as February 14.

Later, in the 14th and 15th centuries, it was normal to perform events in France and England to celebrate Valentine’s Day with shows such as “Courts of Love,”. In the 1660s, certain diaries refer to another form of celebration where family and friends would come together the day before for a Valentine’s Day feast in which they would write their own names as well as their love interest who would be attending on a piece of paper. On the day of the party, and even for a couple of days following, the pair would flirt with one another. The men would give the women presents like gloves and silk stockings. These gifts themselves were sometimes called valentines, which is something we still see now in the present day.

However, the Valentine’s traditions we think of now and perform are probably something that originated in the mid-18th century. Handwritten poems or love messages on paper were also very popular in the 19th century as well. In the 1800s, commercially printed cards appeared

in England and were used commonly. Much in the same way we celebrate presently, the letter would be sent anonymously to their valentine using a flirty and mysterious message to the person receiving them. However, Valentine traditions had almost died out by the 1890s due to people forgetting the tradition.

For 50 years, valentines had been very rare in Britain. The U. S was still practicing these traditions. After WWII, commercially valentine cards became popular again in Britain. This inspired the American marketing to make more cards for people to start the tradition back up. Fast forward to the present day, Valentine’s is well known everywhere and is one of the key days where loved ones celebrate it with each other. Couples send cards to each other, chocolates, flowers, scent, and even heart-shaped materials. They meet for romantic dinners, and they do romantic things with and for each other. The tradition of Valentine’s Day shall live on as people remember the story and meaning behind it.

Simpson, — Jacqueline. “Valentines.” The Folklore Society, 12 July 2018,