Chocolate, Love, and Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
Connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love
The celebration of Saint Valentine is not known to have had any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentine's Day" in the 14th century. In ancient Rome, there is a traditional Roman purification festival called Lupercalia. It was usually observed around February 13-15, and was considered a rite that connects purification and health, but none to love. Later on, Lupercalia was abolished by Genesis I and was considered to be replaced by Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to some researchers. Based on the date and connotations of Lupercalia, they associated it with the celebration of the and claim a connection to the 14th century's connotations of romantic love, which was considered not true later. However, once something happens, even a long time cannot change it, or even distort it. Thus, Valentine’s day becomes a celebration of love and romance in modern society.
Why chocolate on Valentine’s Day?
The real connection between love and chocolate either came about because of an ancient ruler’s obsession with cocoa’s “virulent” properties or it’s due to some really good marketing.
By the 1840s, the notion of Valentine’s Day as a holiday to celebrate romantic love had taken over most of the English-speaking world. Richard Cadbury, scion of a British chocolate manufacturing family, improved his chocolate-making technique. He was soon able to make palatable drinking chocolate for the first time, and also produced more varieties of what was then called "eating chocolate." Richard recognized a great marketing opportunity for the new chocolates and started selling them in beautifully decorated boxes that he himself designed. Soon, giving away heart-shaped box filled with chocolate became a popular trend.