February has been the Month of Romance for centuries.
St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, is a mix between Christian and ancient Roman tradition. We know of three different martyrs called Valentinus (Valentine) however, legend says that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome.
Emperor Claudius II decreed that single men made much better soldiers compared to the one who had families and outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine continue to perform marriages for young lovers in secret and once discovered was put to death (around 270 A.D.).
Others believe that St. Valentine’s Day was created by the Roman Catholic Church in order to christianise the pagan celebration of "Lupercalia". This fertility festival was celebrated in the middle of February and dedicated to Faunus - the Roman God of agriculture.
Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day around 495 A.D. but it took long time before the day started to be associated with love.
The oldest known Valentine greeting is a medieval Frech poem - entitled 'Farewell to Love" - written by Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 to his wife, Bonne of Armagnac, during his imprisonment in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. This rare parchment is part of the manuscript collection at the British Library in London.
It is around the 17th century that Valentine’s Day started to become popular and by the middle of the 18th century friends and lovers were exchanging tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the 1900, printed cards replaced the written letters.
I still remember when my Father used to come home on Valentine’s Day with a big bouquet of flowers for my Mother and a small one for me. We used to celebrate Valentine's as a family and it was beautiful.
Show your other half you loved them this Valentine's Day with the key to your heart! Create something unique for your loved ones. Celebrate this romantic festival with an MBC Diamonds jewellery creation.
NB: All images are borrowed from different media, internet sites and MBC archive.