History of Valentine's Day

History of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, celebrated on February 14th, has its roots in ancient Roman and Christian traditions. It originally commemorated one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular legend associated with Saint Valentine is that he was a priest in Rome during the 3rd century. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Over time, Valentine's Day became associated with romantic love. By the 14th century, it was a day for lovers to express their affection for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day was further popularized by Geoffrey Chaucer and other poets of the Middle Ages, who linked the day with romantic love in their work.

History of Coloring Books

The history of coloring books is largely a modern tale, with their popularity soaring in the 20th and 21st centuries. The first coloring books are attributed to the McLoughlin Brothers, a New York publishing firm active from 1858 until its sale to Milton Bradley in 1920. These early coloring books were intended for education and amusement, offering children the chance to practice their coloring and drawing skills.

Coloring books became significantly popular as educational tools by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, believed to help children develop fine motor skills and creativity. The concept evolved over the years, with coloring books covering a wide range of themes, including history, animals, popular cartoon characters, and more recently, complex patterns and designs aimed at adults for stress relief and relaxation.

The adult coloring book trend took off around 2015, marked by a surge in sales and the publication of numerous titles designed to provide a therapeutic or meditative coloring experience. This trend highlighted the use of coloring as a form of casual art therapy, helping adults to relax and express creativity.

Together, Valentine's Day and coloring books represent the human inclination towards love and creativity, though they originate from very different historical and cultural backgrounds.