Valentines Day and St Dwynwen's Day 25th January special days for Lovers

Valentine's Day Cards

Old Style Valentine's Day Card with a clever caption.
Old Style Valentine's Day Card with a clever caption.
Sweet Old Style Valentine's Day Card coy and sweet
Sweet Old Style Valentine's Day Card coy and sweet
Ultra Modern LED Valentine's Card Inventive and clever
Ultra Modern LED Valentine's Card Inventive and clever
Modern Home Made Valentine's Day Card. Probably the kind most people enjoy the best.
Modern Home Made Valentine's Day Card. Probably the kind most people enjoy the best.
The Important back of the Envelope often a cryptic message was inscribed on the back. Maybe it is  S.W.A.L.K. Sealed with a Loving Kiss!
The Important back of the Envelope often a cryptic message was inscribed on the back. Maybe it is S.W.A.L.K. Sealed with a Loving Kiss!

Saint Valentine's Day Cards

Saint Valentine's Day goes back to Roman times but the celebration of courtship and love is much more recent. In Paris on Saint Valentine's Day, February 14th in 1400 a High Court of Love was set up to deal with contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. The jilted Lady could appeal to the court for retribution. It was useful to either sex depending upon who was the abused person.

The earliest recorded Valentine greeting was from the Duke of Orleans to his wife. The poor man was incarcerated in the Tower after carelessly getting captured at the Battle of Agincourt. It started thus:

Je suis desja d'amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…
—Charles d'Orléans

He appears to be asking for a spanking as I certainly never came upon d'amour tanne in my school French lessons!

Ophelia in Shakespeares “Hamlet” written in 1601 pens a slightly forward one to her love:

Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day
All in the morning below.
And I am a maid at your window
To be your Valentine

By 1797, realizing tongue tied men and boys needed a little help in the love sonnet field, an enterprising British man published “The young Man's Valentine Writer” There is no record of how well it sold but it contained many excellent suggestions for Valentine verses so was most probably snapped up by eager, love lorn lads. There was nothing to prevent the fairer sex from purchasing the primer but again that is not recorded.

By 1800 the Valentine's day card became popular rather than hand written sonnets. They were extremely pretty being made with real lace and ribbons.

Paper Valentines became mass produced by another enterprising person, one Esther Howland who designed and mass produced beautiful paper lace Valentines in 1847. These remained a favorite through Victorian times. Valentine's cards are usually sent anonymously or with cryptic clues as to the sender.

Valentine's Day has increased in popularity with thousands of available types, even electronic ones are available and home made ones are increasing in popularity. Sexy cards have also made inroads into the market. Valentine's Day is now second only to Christmas in popularity but one can only wonder in these day of email and texting, how long this will last. As of this moment it is still a truly “Hallmark” occasion.

In Japan it has become the custom for love lorn ladies to send chocolates to their intended beau. This usually takes the form of chocolate tablets decorated with real flowers. As these retail for about $10 it doesn't cost much for said ladies to cover multiple options!

As a slightly strange footnote, Wales has its very own Saint Dwynwen ( pronounced Doynwen) who is the patron saint of Welsh lovers. Her special day is 25th January. She is also the patron saint of sick animals Well I didn't get any Dwynwen's Day cards, I wonder if I will receive any Valentines Cards this year.

Objects of Desire

Displays of Affection

A Clever" Green"  Valentines Day Message.
A Clever" Green" Valentines Day Message.
The Ubiquitous Valentine Red Roses..........All Photos courtesy of Flickr
The Ubiquitous Valentine Red Roses..........All Photos courtesy of Flickr
A Huggy Bear Valentine Gift
A Huggy Bear Valentine Gift

My Funny Valentine

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Comments 16 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting history lesson. Thank you.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia

Fascinating - Much here that I never read elsewhere. Thank you.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Hello hello Thanks for dropping by, glad you enjoyed the history lesson.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Peter Glad I could bring you some new information, thanks for the comment. By the way, have you read my hub on the endangered New Zealand Pigeon. I think it is right up your street!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Very nice. Nice pics. Nice history. Nice song. You're just nice Gypsy Willow.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Wow Micky thanks for the complements and for stopping by. I hope you have a nice Valentine's Day!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I hate Valentine's day! Right, having got that off my chest, thanks for sharing this interesting information! Love the Chet Baker, of course.

Love and peace

Tony


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Isn't Chet Baker the best? It has got out of hand but interesting ritual all the same. I'm going to do St Dwynwen's Day next year (and no one will know! least of all how to spell it.) Love and peace to you too.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

This was great ! I love the idea of a Valentine writer in the 18th Century. It's just so terribly British for the young men to be unable to say anything romantic. Brilliant. I can't help loving the old "stiff upper lip"


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Glad you enjoyed it Dim. My Grandad sent beautiful lace ones to my Grandma but he never said a lot! Thanks for dropping by.


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 6 years ago from England

I just joined today and saw this hub..very interesting.

Twelve years ago when we had a Marriage blessing on Valentines Day ,a friend read out a poem in church......It was called The History Of St Valentine ..wish i could find it to put on here .


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Welcome Loveslove how nice to blessed on Valentines Day. I bet that poem is on the Internet somewhere! Welcome and thanks for the visit.


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

This is so lovely, I have always loved getting a Valentine! Thanks for sharing here.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Valentines are fun aren't they? I love the anonymous ones best!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed this wonderful little Hub about a big day that is rapidly approaching once again. Your pictures are beautiful. Thank you for this pleasure. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you James. I hope you have a wonderful, romantic Valentines Day.

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