Valentine’s Day is “as dead as Julius Caesar”

Valentine’s Day is just a hyped up, money making day. There I said it!!

[Note: that is entirely my personal opinion here. No offence to those who love the day, but I feel why have ‘a’ day when you’re simply ‘expected’ to give something, when it’s so much nicer to receive an ‘out-of-the-blue-no-reason-needed’ gift.]

Flowers, chocolates, jewellery, a card and/or other romantic gifts … it is what you ‘should’ give your loved one right? Not necessarily. But it is certainly what we’ve been programmed to think.

Anyway it certainly wasn’t always the case. In fact in the early 1900s Valentines Day had all but died out. That sure has changed!!

Take for instance this article from South Australia’s ‘Evening Journal‘ newspaper from Thursday 15 February 1900:

Wednesday was St. Valentine’s Day, but perhaps few people knew it outside of those who are diligent students of their calendars. The old practice of sending valentines has almost if not completely died out. A leading bookseller reports that it is as “dead as Julius Caesar;” that most stationers do not stock valentines nowadays; and, moreover, that people never ask for them. The circulating of extraordinary caricatures is now almost entirely in the hands of the satirical papers, and if a remarkable event were to happen on February 14 there is a probability of St. Valentine’s Day not even being remembered by tie publishers of calendars. 

But as the years went by, the tradition was starting to gain a foothold again., and according to the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express from Friday 11 July 1919 we can blame the Americans for it!

Although the custom of sending valentines is very nearly dead in England, it may, perhaps, be revived by the American soldiers over here, for St. Valentine’s Day is much more popular in America than on this side of the water. There dainty valentines are sold for a dollar each, and, some of the more elaborate ones are sold for fifty dollars about ten pounds.

By 1939 Valentine’s Day was indeed ‘being revived’. The Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative newspaper from Thursday 16 February 1939 reports the following …

The feast of St. Valentine, a Roman priest who was martyred under Claudius II. during the persecution in 270, was celebrated on Tuesday, February 14, by the sending of valentines and other tokens of remembrance or affection. This observance of St. Valentine’s Day appeared to be dying but has recently been revived, and several local residents on Tuesday received little tokens In honor of this quaint and ancient custom.

So Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, but remember there are 364 other days that you can show your love appreciation for the special person in your life as well.