Symbols of Valentine's Day 

Valentine Hearts Lace
Roses Cupid
Doves Valentine Cards

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A long time ago, people thought that all your emotions were held in your heart, especially love. Today, even though we know that our emotions come from our brain, we still use the heart as a symbol of love.



Lace is a pretty fabric made by weaving together fine threads. Hundreds of years ago, women carried lace handkerchiefs. If a woman dropped her handkerchief, a man nearby might pick it up and return it to her. Sometimes a woman might see a man she wanted to meet. She might drop her lace handkerchief on purpose to encourage romance. Soon people thought of romance when they thought of lace. They began using paper lace to decorate chocolate boxes and Valentine cards.


Roses and Flowers

Roses are the best-known symbol of beauty and love. Most people know that red roses mean "I love you." A dozen roses certainly sends a big message on Valentine's Day!

Did you know that roses in other colors have meaning too? 

  • Red and white roses together means unity.
  • Pink roses mean grace and gentility.
  • Yellow roses symbolize joy. 
  • Orange or coral roses communicate your desire. 
  • Burgundy roses are a compliment to your sweetheart's unconscious beauty. 
  • Sweetheart roses are for couples who like nicknames, as they mean darling, dear, or honey. 
  • A single rose signifies simplicity, a nice statement to make if your pockets are empty. 
  • White roses means your sweetheart is heavenly.
  • White rosebuds warn that you're too young for love.

Other flowers also carry different meanings. 

  • Red chrysanthemums, tulips, and carnations still say, "I love you." 
  • A daisy will compliment your valentine's beauty.
  • An elegant cala lily celebrates your lover's splendid beauty.
  • You can only send a lilac one time in your life because it goes to your first love. 
  • Gardenia is for the scared or the shy. It expresses secret untold love.
  • Violets express your affection. 

So what kind of message do you want to send your sweetheart? Be careful to choose the right flower for the job!


Cupid has always played a part in the celebrations of love and lovers. He is known as a mischievous, winged child. He shot his arrows into the hearts of his victims, but the arrows didn't kill the people - the arrows made them fall deeply in love! 

In ancient Greece, Cupid was called Eros. Eros was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. 

To the Roman people, he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus, the goddess of love.


Doves are very unusual in the animal world. They remain with the same partner all of their lives. Most animals go from partner to partner, but not doves. For this reason, doves are symbols of loyalty and love on Valentine's Day.


Valentine Cards

A Valentine's Day card is a sentimental or humorous greeting card that you send to a sweetheart, friend, or family member on Saint Valentine's Day. 

It's also a small gift sent as a token of love to one's sweetheart on Saint Valentine's Day. The most common phrase written on a card is, "Be My Valentine." A Valentine is a person singled out especially as one's sweetheart on Saint Valentine's Day.

Verses and Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, when lovers spoke or sang their valentines. Written valentines began to appear after 1400. 

The oldest Valentine card in existence was made in the 1400's. You can see it in the British Museum. 

Paper Valentine cards were exchanged in Europe where they were given in place of valentine gifts. Paper valentines were especially popular in England. The first valentine cards were made by hand and were made with colored paper, watercolors, and colored inks

In the early 1800's, Valentines began to be assembled in factories. Early manufactured valentine cards were black and white pictures that were painted by workers in a factory. 

Fancy Valentine cards were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid 1800's. By the end of the 1800's valentine cards were being made entirely by machine

In the early 1900's a card company named Norcross began to manufacture valentines. Each year Hallmark displays its collection of rare and antique valentines at card shops around the country. Museums and Libraries also offer antique valentine exhibitions around St. Valentine's Day


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