We all know Valentine’s Day as an occasion to gift loved ones boxes of gourmet chocolates. However, how did it become so? What is the history of Valentine’s Day chocolates?
History of Valentine’s Day
Let us review what Valentine’s Day is all about. Pope Gelasius I instituted the Feast of Saint Valentine in AD 496 to honor a martyr who was killed by the Romans, on February 14 AD 269. In addition, there seems to have been another Saint Valentine as well, but that is another story. Coincidentally, February 14th overlapped with the ancient Roman holiday of Lupercalia. The Romans held this annual festival from February 13 – 15. They celebrated the deliverance of wellbeing and fruitfulness and the repelling of evil spirits. Regrettably, the festival required sacrificing a goat for fruitfulness and a dog to cleanse away evil spirits.
By the 14th century, February 14th was associated with romance, perhaps due to an old wive’s tale that on that day birds started mating for the season. In the 18th century, people institutionalized the day as the time to express one’s endearment. They did so by gifting sweets, flowers, and Valentine’s cards. Beginning with the 21st century, showering our furry family members with Valentine’s Day dog gifts was a common way to express one’s dog love.
Showing Love with a Gourmet Box of Chocolates
So, how did chocolates become part of the history of Valentine’s Day? It all started when Richard Cadbury, a son of John Cadbury, Cadbury’s chocolate company’s founder, realized that the company’s new creation of “eating chocolate” (versus drinking chocolate) was an amazing marketing opportunity. So, he designed beautiful heart-shaped chocolate boxes to sell “Fancy Chocolates!”
This is the history of Valentine’s Day chocolates! Consequently, a gourmet box of chocolates is the accepted way to show one’s love and, therefore, is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
So, how can we all show our dog love and give him/her something akin to a gourmet box of chocolates?