Giving flowers, chocolate, and heart-shaped cards are all common customs on Valentine’s Day. But we’ve been asking ourselves where these traditions come from.
Well, whether you think it’s the most romantic day of the year, or simply overly commercialized, Valentine’s Day has some surprising history. Today the rituals we celebrate such as the giving of flowers or treating a loved one to a delicious meal, are based on hundreds of years of traditions around love and marriage.
Legend has it that when St. Valentine was in prison, he prayed with the daughter of one of his judges and cured her blindness. Before his execution, he wrote her a letter, signing it “From your Valentine.” It will never be known if this was a romantic gesture but nonetheless, the signature caught on and is still used to show affection.
Cupid was the Greek God of love, formerly known as Eros. He was considered a sex symbol who wooed humans and gods with his supernaturally good looks. According to Greek mythology, Cupid had two arrows, gold to make people fall in love, and lead to make people hate each other. The Romans added him to their mythology as Cupid, the son of Venus, who was the goddess of love.
In developing our range of Valentine products across each of our venues, we took the time to research some traditions that are associated with this special day. Chocolate of course is often linked to love and romance and that is all thanks to Mr Cadbury.
“After he and his brother took over his family’s chocolate manufacturing business, he discovered a way to extract pure cocoa butter from whole beans and added it to the company’s chocolate drink. The process produced more cocoa butter than expected, so he put it in “eating chocolate” as well. Then, in a business ploy that would change the industry, Cadbury started designing beautiful boxes for his new chocolates, including special Valentine’s Day ones with cupids and roses. It’s believed that he made the first heart-shaped candy box, even though he didn’t patent it” (source Reader’s Digest Jan. 14, 202)
Lace and ribbon have ancient associations with love too. In the Middle Ages, knights would often ride into battle carrying a ribbon from their sweethearts as good luck. Lace, meanwhile, has a far more literal association with love. The word itself comes from the Latin word lacques, which means “to ensnare” or “capture,” as in capture someone’s heart.
Many of our products incorporate both chocolate and ribbon, and we’ve thrown a lot of Relish love into everything that we’ve made for our customers. We may not be able to welcome you to dine in at any of our Relish Group venues this Valentines but we can at least bring the romance to you. From Valentine’s @ Home pre-cooked Indian Dinners to Cocktail Making Kits, Movie Date Boxes to Heart-Shaped Pizzas; Valentines weekend promises to be one of treats!