The Legend: According to Encyclopedia Britannica, more than one Christian martyr was named Valentine, but a priest killed about 270 AD by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus probably gave the day its name. As legend has it, the priest fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and signed a letter to her, “from your Valentine.”
Tradition: The American Folklore Encyclopedia looks at some holiday practices from the past. For example, if you were a young man during the 19th century in America, you might attend a party and pull names of prospective sweethearts from a hat. If you were a young woman, you might put bay leaves sprinkled with rose water under your pillow to help you dream of your future husband.
Valentine’s Day continued in popularity so much so that after 1860, you could buy your beau a commercially made Valentine card.
In celebration for the month of love, take a look at the Recommended Reading libguide for this month at http://libguides.highline.edu/recommendedreading or visit our display on the Plaza Level of the Library.