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Important:

We recommend using 110 lb. card stock or better for most of our printables.  Please refer to the individual instructions to be sure.

 
CAUTION:

Some of our projects require items that could be swallowed by the very young.  We rely on the supervising adult's judgment to determine how appropriate a project is for each child.

 

 

 
The History of Valentine's Day

 

It is possible to link the celebration of Valentine's Day to an earlier Roman

lover's feast day called Lupercalia which took place every February 15.

This day was set aside to honor the Roman goddess of women and

marriage, Juno and the god of nature, Pan. 

 

On this day, young men drew the name of a young woman from the box of

chance.  The newly introduced couple then exchanged gifts of affection. 

Most of the time, the couples continued to keep company long after festival day and in fact,

many of these courtships ended in marriage.

 

As Christianity spread, men of the cloth decided to give the pagan festival a meaning more

closely tied to the church.  So, in 496, Pope Gelasius created Valentine's Day, to be

celebrated on February 14th.

 

Historians disagree about which St. Valentine inspired the name of the holiday.  During the

200's, a Roman Priest and a bishop from Terni, located about 60 miles from Rome, were

beheaded by the Romans for Christian activities.  Since both martyrs lived and died during

the same time frame, historians' opinions vary.

 

With very little information available about the earliest celebration of Valentine's Day, it is

believed that England began to celebrate as early as 1446.  Many of the same traditions

remained from Lupercalia.  Young people chose their valentines by selecting a piece of paper

bearing a name from a vase.  By the 1700's, high-society groups gathered in the homes of

gentry on the eve of Valentine's Day for this ceremony.  Afterward, each young man wore the

piece of paper with his lady's name on his sleeve for several days, thus giving us the saying

"He wears his heart on his sleeve".

 

The wealthy gave fancy-dress balls to honor their valentines, while the average young man

gave their lady a pair of gloves.  The custom of fine-gift giving was gradually replaced by

sending sentimental messages.

 

Valentine's Day became popular in America by the 1800's during the Civil War.  Hand

painted valentines were common.  Many were intricately decorated with expensive satin,

ribbons, lace, imitation gems, feathers, sea shells and even dried flowers.  Some cost as

much as $10.00, a fortune at that time in history.  After proudly displaying them, young

women tenderly stored these valentines away with other keepsakes.  Many of these old

valentines are now collector's items.

 
 
 
 

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