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Valentine’s Day 101

casa student celebrating valentine's day
February 7, 2022

Most people know that Valentine’s Day falls on February 14, and specifically in the United States it is a day for partners to give each other romantic gifts. But have you ever wondered about the history of this day, unique things other countries do, or how Casa embraces the festive spirit?

Valentine’s Day 101:
  • One story discusses the priest Valentine marrying people in secret, thus the origin of this holiday.
  • Valentine’s Day did not gain popularity until the 17th century.
  • Valentine’s Day traditions vary greatly around the world.
  • If you want romantic Spanish music we have you covered!
  • At Casa, we join the festive spirit by teaching children about friendships!

Valentine's made by Casa students.
History of Valentine’s Day

There are many stories about how Valentine’s day started and we will never know which is the true origin. One says that Emperor Claudius II of Rome, wanted to have better soldiers and noticed that those without wives were more successful. Thus, he forbade marriage. But priest Valentine performed secret marriages to those who were truly in love. Claudius heard of the defiance and out of rage ordered Valentine’s death.  

Whatever the story that brought forth Valentine’s Day, romantic stories (and opportunity for huge revenue) have emerged through history. Accounts of Valentine’s Day have dated back to the Middle Ages, with the oldest valentine written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415 to his imprisoned wife. However, it did not gain popularity until the 17th century, and by the 18th century exchanging gifts and letters was a common practice. In 1840, Esther A. Howland was awarded the title of “Mother of Valentine” for mass producing the first valentine made out of lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures. 

Today Valentine’s Day Looks Very Different Around The World! 
  • Wales: On the Day of San Dwynwen, January 25, couples exchange beautifully handcrafted wooden spoons. This tradition has been around since the 16th century. 
  • Brazil: Celebrated on June 12, “Dia dos Namorados” is a chaotic holiday where people will let it be known who they love through bold romantic gestures. 
  • Argentina: Not only is Valentine’s Day celebrated in July but it is also a week long event! Sweetness Week, first set up as a marketing campaign to sell more sweets, is loved nationally and typically you exchange sweet treats with those you love.
  • Valencia (city in Spain): One partner will typically offer the other a Mocadora, a small marzipan figurine on October 9, the Day of Saint Dionysius.

This Valentine’s Day do something different and be inspired by these unique traditions. And don’t worry about the Valentine’s Day music, we have you covered with some romantic Spanish classics:

El Amor de Mi Vida by Ricky Martin

Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor by Juanes

Llegaste Tu by Luis Fonsi by Juan Luis Guerra

Entra En Mi Vida by Sin Bandera

Tú by Shakira 

The Casa Connection

At Casa we get into the festive spirit by wearing Valentine’s Day colors and learn about friendships! Our children do fun activities and also read books supporting this concept.

Casa student's celebrating Valentine's day and posing for a picture.
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