Valentine’s Day – The History of the Holiday

Valentine’s Day flowers are a strong part of the holiday’s tradition, which dates back to the latter part of the Middle Ages. To first understand the significance of Valentine’s Day flowers, one must learn more about the holiday itself.

Saint Valentine’s Day is a holiday on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending cards, candy, jewelry and most importantly, Valentine’s Day flowers. The holiday is named after two men, both Christian martyrs among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine.

This holiday is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines.” Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards, which are extremely popular around the world. Valentine’s Day flowers themselves are equally as important, especially when combined with cards.

Valentine’s Day Flowers – Holiday Traditions around the World

The day is celebrated differently in many parts of the world, although the basic premise behind it tends to remain the same. Still, it can be interesting to learn about and compare these different traditions, specifically how they involve Valentine’s Day Flowers. The following are some of the common traditions from around Europe.

· Denmark. In Denmark, people send pressed white Valentine’s Day flowers called snowdrops to their friends. Danish men also send a type of valentine called a Gaekkebrev (joking letter). The sender writes a rhyme but does not sign his name. Instead, he signs the valentine with dots, one dot for each letter of his name. If the woman who receives it guesses his name correctly, he rewards her with an Easter egg on Easter.

· Britain/Italy. In Britain and Italy, some unmarried women get up before sunrise on Valentine’s Day. They stand by the window watching for a man to pass. They believe that the first man they see, or someone who looks like him, will marry them within a year. In both of these nations, Americanized and traditional use of cards and Valentine’s Day flowers are also very popular.

Valentine’s Day Flowers – Ancient Traditions

Most of the modern traditions surrounding the day and Valentine’s Day flowers date back to ancient times and similar (although differently-named) festivals. The ancient Romans, in particular, celebrated a holiday that had some basic similarities.

Some authorities trace Valentine’s Day to an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia. The ancient Romans held the festival of Lupercalia on February 15 to ensure protection from the wolves. The celebration involved young men who would strike people with strips of animal hide. Women took the blows because they thought that the whipping made them more fertile.

Many writers link the festival of Lupercalia with Valentine’s Day because of the similar date and the connection with fertility. Although this tradition is not as pleasant as exchanging Valentine’s Day flowers, the fertility links are what many believe may have started off this holiday.

The British adopted many Roman festivals and customs, this being one of them, although they tended to be altered over time. This alteration may have been partially responsible for the more modern-day version of the holiday.

Ideas for Valentine’s Day Flowers

When celebrating this holiday and participating in the tradition of exchanging Valentine’s Day flowers, there are a number of different things that you can create or select in order to enhance the uniqueness of your offering. A florist is a good source of advice and resources for coming up with new and intricate designs, and their shop is usually well equipped to create anything you can come up with.

The most basic and powerful of ideas is to choose bouquets of red roses. Red is traditionally associated with love, passion and romance, and results in this selection being one of the most popular in the entire world. You can also mix red roses with pink, which share passion-related meanings, and with white, which represent innocence and purity.

More advanced floral arrangements can combine roses with chrysanthemums, carnations, orchids and even tulips. By doing so, you can come up with some extremely attractive combinations that will be sure to impress a partner or significant other.

Table centerpieces can be a great idea for Valentine’s Day parties or dances, especially when you use traditional Valentine’s Day flowers such as those listed above. If tradition is of great importance to you, roses are the way to go. You can also consider wall-mounted arrangements in the shape of a heart. This combined with bouquets and other creations can spice up any gathering.

Using the florist’s online shop allows you to find out more about the tradition of Valentine’s Day flowers, as well as offering you the ability to place orders and arrange for convenient delivery to any venue.

Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist

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