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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday-The Origins if Valentines Day

Have you ever looked at a shop display like this one:

And wondered where the heck did this Valentines thing begin? 

The answer is that like most western hollidays Valentines Day's origins are pagan.  In Ancient Rome the fertility festival dedicated to the God Faunus was  celebrated in the middle of February.

 During the festival priests would sacrifice a goat and a dog eeek.  The hides of the animals would be cut into strips and dipped in the sacrificial blood. The priests would then wander the city streets slapping farm fields and woman with the hides.  This was believed to make the woman and the fields fertile. Later in the festival young single woman would place their names in a large container to be chosen at random by the local bachelors. The resulting couples often married. 
Later, the Catholic Church recognized several saints named Valentine about which there are many conflicting accounts. One Saint Valentine is said to have kept marrying young men even after the Roman Emperor forbade young men marriage in order to make them better soldiers.  In order to Christianize the festival the early church apparently combined the pagan rights with the Saint's feast day.
The earliest Valentines greetings go back to the Middle Ages and handmade cards and notes were given in the 17 and 1800s. In the mid 1800s commercial Valentine cards became popular.  Esther Howland sold them in America and was known as the mother of the Valentine. 

It wasn't long before Valentines day became one of the biggest mail days with millions of people sending and receiving cards.  

Soon the sweet tradition of children giving cards at school became popular and Valentine cards specifically for children were produced, many of them featuring adorable dogs!

The cuteness of these cards should make even a cynic smile Valentines day.


  1. I always wondered the whole story behind that! How interesting!
    I knew a little but definitely not in that great of detail!
    Love the old valentine cards, they are SO cute!
    Thanks for linking up with Ruckus and I to the Thoughtless Thursday blog hop!
    ((husky hugz))
    Frum da pack at Love is being owned by a husky

  2. Whoa, that first picture is overwhelming. Where did you capture that? Let me guess....Walgreens? It's makes my heart scream out...COMMERCIALIZED HOLIDAY! Hahha thank you for taking us back to our roots of Valentines. I'm ready to find out who my secret admirer is! Happy Thoughtless Thursday!

  3. Very interesting ... we had no idea! Mama says Valentine's Day was created by the candy, flower and card companies!

    Love Zoe, Peyton, Webster, Liberty & Whitney

  4. Ahhh, they days when life was innocent and not filled with commercialism :)
    Lynne x

  5. My Goodness those valentines took Mom back to when she was a girl and the time at school making valentine baskets and making sure each school mate got just the right valentine!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  6. Interesting reading about the history of Valentine's Day!

  7. The early history was just terrible! Thank goodness times changed and now its cute stuff!

  8. Very true, a good many vintage Valentine's Day cards did feature dogs. Perhaps it's because they're so well suited to expressing one's puppy love for their crush! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  9. We agree with Lynne and we love seeing the old cards. Yikes at skinning a dog. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  10. How interesting the Valentine's Day evolved! It started quite gory.. Now it's a very commercialized event, but I agree, these cute cards make everyone smile :-)


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