Rock Hill Coca-Cola Blog

A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air all around Rock Hill. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so let’s take a quick look at the history of this holiday.

Remember the Date!

Don’t let this one slip past! Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, is observed on February 14 each year. 

Roman Roots

Its origins are rooted in both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. The most widely accepted story behind Valentine’s Day dates back to the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. There are several legends about a Christian martyr named Saint Valentine, but the most popular one revolves around a priest named Valentine during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, who ruled from 268 to 270.

According to the legend, Claudius II outlawed marriages for young men, believing that single men made better soldiers. Saint Valentine defied this decree and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Eventually, Valentine was caught, imprisoned, and sentenced to death. While in jail, he is said to have fallen in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a note signed “from your Valentine” before his execution on February 14, around the year 269 AD.

The Middle Ages

In the medieval period, Valentine’s Day began to be associated with romantic love. Chaucer and other poets of the 14th and 15th centuries helped popularize the notion of courtly love, and by the 18th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other through the exchange of flowers, confectionery, and love notes, known as “valentines.”

The 19th Century 

The tradition of exchanging valentine cards became more widespread in the 19th century, and the commercialization of Valentine’s Day also increased. These changes occurred for a couple of very practical reasons.

The Industrial Revolution transformed the way goods were produced. With advancements in printing technology, it became easier and cheaper to produce colorful, decorative cards. This made it possible for cards to be mass-produced and sold at affordable prices, thereby increasing their popularity and accessibility.

At the same time, postal systems expanded and became more efficient. This meant that people could easily send and receive mail, including Valentine’s cards, to and from distant loved ones. The development of uniform postage rates also made sending mail more affordable for the average person.

Valentine’s Today

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world, and it has become a day to express love and affection not only between romantic partners but also among friends and family. The exchange of cards, flowers, and gifts is a common practice, and many people celebrate the day with special meals or outings. If you ask us here at the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to share a Coke with the one you love.