With the season of love fast approaching, our thoughts turn to those we hold close. Valentine's Day dates back thousands of years, but declaring our love to those close to us has changed over the years. From fertility rituals to secret cards received by post or beautiful bespoke hampers, there are tonnes of ways to say, "I love you".
With the power of love still going strong, have you decided how to treat your loved one? At Peach Hampers, we have a range of personalised hampers to show your loved one how much you care.
As we think about matters of the heart, we've looked back over the history of Valentine's Day. We've also found some interesting facts about the day of love. This should give you some inspiration as you think about the perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine's Day.
7 Facts About Valentine's Day
Pagan Festival Origins
Some suggest that Valentine's Day dates back as far as the 6th Century B.C. with a pagan festival of Lupercalia. During this fertility festival, linked to the start of Spring, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets. They also had a ceremony where women would put their names into an urn and would then be paired with a man for a year. Not terribly romantic!
A Saint's Day
It is thought that Pope Gelasius I forbade the celebration of Lupercalia and replaced it with what we now know as St. Valentine's Day. There are several Christian martyrs called "Valentine", but it is thought that the name may have come from a priest who was martyred around 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. The legend says that the priest sent a letter "from your Valentine" to his jailer's daughter, whom he had befriended and apparently had cured her of blindness.
Another legend suggests that St. Valentine defied the emperor's orders and married couples secretly to spare their husbands from war. This is why St. Valentine's Day is associated with love.
Every year, thousands of creative romantics write love letters to the tragic heroine of Shakespeare's play, 'Romeo & Juliet'. These letters are sent to Verona in Italy, the home of the famous play. Every letter sent is responded to by a dedicated team of volunteers who are members of the 'Juliet Club'. On Valentine's Day every year, the club chooses the most heartfelt love letter and awards the author with the "Cara Giulietta" ("Dear Juliet") prize.
Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
The Valentine's Day tradition of giving boxes of chocolates to loved ones was actually started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury. Richard was the second son of Quacker John Cadbury, the founder of the Cadbury's chocolate company. In 1868, Richard came up with the idea of capitalising on Valentine's Day by creating a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
The earliest surviving Valentine came from prison! It is a 15th Century poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent to his wife while he was being held in the Tower of London. Charles was captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 at the age of 21. As a prisoner for over 20 years, he never actually got to see his loved one's response to his letter.
Mass Valentine's Day Weddings
Would you get married with hundreds of strangers? Many countries across the globe conduct mass weddings for hundreds of lovers on Valentine's Day. This is particularly popular in the Philippines, where thousands of people celebrate their wedding anniversary on the 14th of February.
These weddings are funded by the Filipino government and are free of charge to the couples. The couples only have to ensure that they have registered their documents and turn up wearing traditional wedding dress. In some areas, the best-dressed couple is awarded 10,000 pesos to spend on their honeymoon.
Sealed With a Kiss
The habit of signing off love notes with an 'X' is thought to go back to the Middle Ages when most people were illiterate. Because they were unable to write their name, they signed with the sign of the cross, or the letter X, as a display of their faith. They would also kiss the cross as an additional sign of sincerity and trustworthiness, so literally "sealed with a kiss". The practice obviously grew over time and is used more frequently as a sign of affection in cards… or to sign off text messages!
Treat someone special with a personalised hamper from Peach Hampers.
Whether you've been together forever or just starting out, there's no better time to show your love than on Valentine's Day. They say, "It's the thought that counts", and you can show just how much you care with a thoughtfully designed bespoke hamper. By selecting high-quality produce with a wide range of choice, you can choose a hamper that your partner will truly love – almost as much as you!
With a special in-house printing process, you can completely personalise your hamper. You can then design your bespoke hamper to appeal to your loved one with a hamper that has them totally in mind. You'll definitely earn special brownie points with a beautiful hamper from Peach Hampers.
Have a look through our beautiful range of Valentine's Day hampers and order yours today.