Flowers, stuffed animals, chocolates, Cupid, hearts, oh my! All of these things are popular symbols of the day that comes once a year on February 14th known as Valentine’s Day. But how did this holiday start?

The holiday is  named to honor Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers, who was believed to be murdered on February 14th AD 270. Valentine secretly married couples until he was caught and then sentenced to death. Roman emperor Claudius II had cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome because he was having a difficult time getting men to join the military. It is believed that Valentine left a farewell note for his daughter saying, “Love from your Valentine,” before he was executed, hence making it the first “Valentine’s Day” card.

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently in countries all over the world. For example:

  • In Spain, instead of chocolates and roses, books are often given and exchanged.
  • In Finland, the day honors friends instead of lovers.
  • In Japan and South Korea, women give chocolate to men, and on White Day one month later, men give sweets to women.

For more on Valentine’s Day traditions around the world, check out the links below.

Also, if you are in need of come last minute Valentine’s Day ideas, check out this link:

Whether you have a significant other or are “flying solo” (single) on this holiday, we wish you lots of love from the IEI family.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Read more or watch videos about the origins and history of Valentine’s Day by clicking the links below. (videos)