St. Valentine’s Day has been celebrated on February 14 since 496 AD. While there is a romantic element to the history of Valentine, the day named in honor of him started as a liturgical celebration, or feast day, in the Roman Catholic Church.
Despite the fact that Saint Valentine was executed for uniting forbidden lovers – and possibly himself fell in the love with the daughter of his jailor (kicking off the whole notion of someone being your “valentine”) – the romantic connotation of Valentine’s Day didn’t emerge until the Middle Ages. By the 18th century in England, February 14 had become a day when people expressed their love for one another by exchanging presents, handmade cards (known as valentines) and, of course, sweets.
Today about 83 percent of Americans are likely to share candy or chocolate with friends, family or that special someone at Valentine’s Day.
Whether you receive a beautifully-wrapped box of chocolates from a loved one or you plan to pass out boxes of conversation hearts to everyone you know, Valentine’s Day is a good time to keep moderation in mind.
- NEWS: Americans Enjoy Valentine’s Day Treats in Moderation (2016 press release)
- Bites, Bits and Bon Bons – sweet facts about Valentine’s Day and candy
- How Do I Love Thee? – history and legends of Valentine’s Day
- Consumers Prefer Chocolate Over Flowers for Valentine’s Day – infographic
- The Story of Chocolate
- Cracking the Chocolate “Code” – how to tell what’s inside your chocolate piece
- All About Conversation Hearts
- Health and Safety
- Valentine’s Day Fun