Some say the history of Valentine’s Day is rooted in ancient Rome, when the few days around 14th February were known as Lupercalia – a pagan fertility festival. Back then, it’s reputed that young men would strip off, grab the nearest goat skin whips and spank the bottoms of the young women in order to improve fertility! These days, thankfully our knowledge and our approach to medicine and health has improved and so these types of practices are long gone (although we at Creased believe that if it were to still be going on anywhere, it’s likely it would be in Brighton where we’re based!).
Many later religions and church denominations continued traditions around Valentine’s Day with some having an official feast day on 14th February. It is now well written that the true Valentine’s celebrated on this day are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.
So, with many ancient rituals and religious festivals believed to have given rise to Valentine’s day why, 100’s of years later, do we still give and receive Valentine’s cards & gifts?
It’s pretty simple really – it makes us feel good! Both to give and receive cards & gifts is known to make us feel better and to enhance our sense of belonging and commitment.
Helen Fisher is an anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey and has written lots of books on love, including one called Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. In the book, she says love is made up of three distinct brain processes; sex drive, romantic love, and attachment – and that whilst they can operate independently, all three play a key role in true love.
So, that got me thinking about the part a Valentine’s card or gift play in each of those three…
I’ll leave you to work your imagination on the first – sex drive – however, suffice to say that we presume a Valentine’s card can help woo your desired partner and perhaps it would help (further) fulfil that area of your life!
In terms of romanticism – of course, sending a beautiful, well-chosen card, perhaps a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates, is bound to help build those feelings of fondness that, as human beings, we all strive for and desire.
However, perhaps most importantly as far as Valentine’s Day is concerned, is that spending time choosing, writing out and giving a Valentine’s card, as well as being the recipient, simply enhances our sense of belonging and commitment – something which all couples need whether they’ve been together a week or 40 years.
So, with just under £900m expected to be spent on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts in the UK this year – more than 2/3rds of it by men – you can expect lots of romance, sex and – more importantly in my view – a greater sense of commitment and belonging between couples.
Here at Creased, we have a superb selection of Valentine’s Day cards and gifts…so pop along to our store or click through to the site if you’re chasing any one of the three key benefits of sending a Valentine’s Day card – we promise we won’t ask which one it is you’re after!
Here are just a few from our range for 2017… see the full range here