Gearing up for a special night out on February 14th? We take a look at Valentine’s Day, and how it’s come to be so universally celebrated.
The original roots of the festival may go back to early Roman times, with Lupercalia, a fertility festival celebrated every year on the 15th February. Around 500AD, Pope Gelasius I decreed that the pagan festival was to become a Christian feast day, now celebrated on February 14. Although he designated it as St Valentine’s Day, no-one knows which of the possible three contenders for the role he had in mind! One story is that Valentine was a Roman priest in the reign of Claudius II, around 270AD. Claudius prohibited his soldiers from marrying, as he had a theory that marriage blunted their fighting instincts. Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret, and was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured. Before he was eventually executed, he wrote a last letter to his sweetheart which he signed ‘from your Valentine’, words that can still be found in modern greetings cards. By the Middle Ages, Valentine had become one of the UK’s most popular saints, and in the 14th century, contemporary author Chaucer linked Valentine’s Day with romantic love in a couplet.
Valentine’s greetings started to become popular in the Middle Ages, and the British Library contains a valentine’s written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415. Printed cards first made their appearance in the 1900s, and now millions of cards are exchanged every year.
The most popular Valentine’s Day gifts are still roses (pink, symbolising gratitude and appreciation, or red, symbolising romantic love) or chocolates. Spending time with your loved one is still the most important part of February 14th, though, so why not book a table with us for a great romantic night out? We’re in a perfect location in the middle of the Cheshire countryside, and we’ve everything to make your evening memorable, from fantastic homecooked food to roaring log fires. Booking essential, give us a call on 01477 571284.