Valentine’s Day has been getting a bad rap recently. It is a day a lot of people believe is fabricated by society to increase sales for certain industries (such as flowers, chocolate and restaurants.) While there may be some truth to that, the legend of Valentine’s Day is actually quite interesting and it all starts in ancient Rome.
Roman Emperor Claudius II banned marriage
Claudius II believed that single soldiers made better soldiers, therefore, in the third century A.D., Claudius II decided to make it illegal for young men to get married. As you can probably guess, this did not go over very well with the Romans. One person in particular who did not approve of this was a priest named Valentine.
Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret
To try and avoid the law, Valentine would marry people in secret. But, as we all know, doing things in secret is much harder than we think. Claudius II eventually found out about these secret weddings and sentenced Valentine to death.
Something happened while Valentine was in jail
While Valentine was waiting for his sentence to be carried out, he would often see a young woman who would come to visit her father, the jailor. As time went on, Valentine and the jailor’s daughter fell in love (back then Catholic Priests were allowed to marry.)
Valentine was executed on February 14th 270 AD
Before his final sentence was carried out, Valentine wrote one final letter to his love and signed it “From Your Valentine,” which is the same expression we use today.
About 200 years later the Catholic Church declared February 14th as a day to honor Valentine, who had become a Saint. This is why we celebrate the day of Saint Valentine or “Valentine’s Day.”
So what does this have to do with tea?
Nothing really, but tea is quickly becoming a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to pass on a bit of the legend behind this Holiday so we all understand why we celebrate it every year with our loved ones.