Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so look no further as we have an abundance of themed gifts to treat a loved one or simply mark the day for yourself with a special candle.
Every February 14, across the UK and in other places around the world, chocolates, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint? Valentines Day, originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honouring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognised as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world.
The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting gifts and sending love letters. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The earliest surviving Valentines in English appeared in 1477. Valentine's Day is also mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1600–1601):
"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine”.
Here are some interesting facts about St Valentine’s Day!
- In Japan, women are expected to give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine's Day. This tradition was started as a marketing campaign by Japanese chocolate companies. Men are not off the hook, unfortunately; they are expected to return the favour on March 14th, commonly known as ‘White Day’.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. Today, to wear your heart on your sleeve means being transparent with your affections.
- Three different Saint Valentines have been mentioned by the martyrologies of the Roman Catholic Church.
- The Catholic Church struck St. Valentine’s Day from its official calendar in 1969.
- The phrase "Sweets for the sweet" is a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine's Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
- The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia on Feb. 14 in honour of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.
- Casanova, well known as "The World's Greatest Lover," ate chocolate to make him virile!
- Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
- Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight.
- Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
- Every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
- In the 1800s doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate, claiming it would sooth their pain. To this day, many women find comfort in a box of chocolates when dealing with heartbreak.
Candles are synonymous with romance. Our range of Valentine's Day Candle Gifts make it easy to create the perfect relaxed atmosphere. If you are planning a special evening with the one you love, incorporate some dinner candles to set the mood. Other ideas include:
- Placing some votive candles in votive candle holders in a large heart shape in your living room.
- Floating candles in bowls of water scattered with rose petals.
- Place candles on shelves, counter tops and tables, you can use standing candle holders or candle plates, spreading them out throughout the room.
- Use a collection of tea light candles to light a pathway, you can have this lead to a surprise, like an evening picnic or a bubble bath or a glass of champagne!
You can change the most ordinary room into a romantic retreat in an instant with candles. They fill the air with beautiful fragrance, bathe the space in a subtle cosy glow and represent a time to relax!