The Origins and Evolution of Valentine's Day

TLDR Valentine's Day originated as a Christian feast day to honor Saint Valentine of Rome, but its association with love and romance can be traced back to a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. The tradition of giving Valentine's cards and candy began in the 19th century and has since become a commercialized holiday celebrated worldwide.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Valentine's Day is a day dedicated to romance, but the origins and symbolism of the holiday are explored in this episode of Everything Everywhere Daily.
01:41 Valentine's Day has its roots as the Christian feast day of Saint Valentine, but there is uncertainty about which specific Saint Valentine is being referred to, as there were multiple saints with that name during the same time period.
03:07 The Feast of Saint Valentine was established in 496 to honor Saint Valentine of Rome, who is also the patron saint of beekeepers, those who faint, have epilepsy, or the plague, and the association of Valentine's Day with romance can be traced back to a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382.
04:41 Valentine's Day became associated with love and romance due to references in poems and literature, such as Geoffrey Chaucer's poem, and the tradition of giving Valentine's cards began with love letters.
06:10 Valentine's Day cards became popular in the 19th century, with a dramatic increase in card sending when British postal rates dropped in 1840, and the trend also spread to the United States with the first mass-produced Valentine's cards being sold by Esther Howland.
07:49 Over 190 million Valentine's cards are sent out each year in the United States, the tradition of giving out candy on Valentine's Day began in 1868 with the creation of a heart-shaped box of chocolates by the Cadbury Company, and in Japan, women buy chocolates for men on Valentine's Day due to a misprinted newspaper advertisement in 1936.
09:19 Over $20 billion is spent on Valentine's Day in the United States, with 75% of the money being spent by men, and despite its commercialization, Valentine's Day is not an official holiday in any country and is no longer on the calendar for the Catholic Church.
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