History of Valentine’s Day and Romance Traditions in France

History of Valentine’s Day and Romance Traditions in France

It may surprise you  to learn the true history of Valentine’s Day and romance traditions in France. The 18th-century era became known for romance. Love letters, flowers, and poems began to be exchanged between lovers.

Valentine’s Day and romance traditions didn’t begin with a romantic date, romantic dinner, and greeting cards.  Read more about the history of these traditions to fully understand how Valentine’s Day really began.

Lovers exchanged handmade cards to portray their love for one another with a poem and romantic symbols like flowers and love knots. Shakespeare’s Hamlet mentions Valentine’s Day (17th century). Also, a popular Valentine’s poem was found in a nursery rhyme collection in 1784.

Origins and Legends of Valentine’s Day

  1. Birds’ mating season in the middle of February was recognized during the Middle Ages in England and France. Learn more about breeding birds that migrate between England and France and the breeding season of Robins.
  2. The oldest Valentine’s Day English message was written in 1477.
  3. St. Valentine was a priest from Rome in the third century A.D. Valentine ended up in jail (it is believed) because he had arranged marriages in secret after marriages had been banned. In 278 A.D. Valentine was beheaded. He left a note to the jailer’s daughter who had become his friend and signed it, “From Your Valentine”.
  4. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.
  5. During February 13-15, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, an ancient fertility festival.
  6. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his poem Parlement of Foules in 1382. This is the “first recorded instance of St Valentine’s Day.”

See what babble.com has to say about the history of Valentine’s Day traditions.

Ideas for a Romantic February Trip to France

If interested in going on a vacation to France, look at the following ideas for a romantic February France trip.

Begin your tour in Paris, and experience the city of love.  Then travel south to the romantic Saint-Valentin. Continue on a couple hours’ drive to stay in the lovely Chateau Golf des Sept Tours. 

Saint-Valentin is 161 miles south of Paris. Because of its name, naturally, the village attracts tourists. Many people come there on the closest weekend to Valentine’s Day to celebrate love or to renew their vows.

Visiting France in February

When visiting France in February, pack your coat and an umbrella because it’s typically cold and wet. Bring your boots because you’ll probably see snow.

According to tripsavvy.com, you will find it least expensive to tour France in February. Find special deals, like lower airfare and hotel prices, during the off-season with no long tourist-attraction lines.

Chateau Golf des Sept Tours

A visit to the beautiful chateau, Chateau Golf des Sept Tours, inspired the setting for the novel, Silk or Sugar. 

In Silk or Sugar, Janine de Fleury sails from New Orleans in 1803 to reclaim her dead parents’ estate and faces dilemmas. An imposter took possession of her ancestral home, then Janine encounters unexpected affairs of the heart.

Janine, a Royalist, holds a deep and secret affection for the handsome French Republican Army soldier, Colonel Etienne Tremeau. He serves the great general, Napoleon Bonaparte. But dark forces come against Janine and Etienne. 

Napolean, the Romantic

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), fell in love with Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, widow of the Viscount de Beauharnais. They married in March 1796.

Josephine was ten years older than Napolean. However, that didn’t matter to him as he was madly in love with her. History accounts of his romantic love letters, some even sexually explicit. 

Despite Napolean’s fierce love for Josephine, their love endured a love-hate relationship and love affairs with others. Napoleon’s desire for an heir exceeded his love for Josephine, however. So he divorced her because she was unable to conceive that heir he desperately wanted.

What happened to Josephine Bonaparte?

Napoléon crowned Joséphine Empress of the French in 1804, and their divorce came five years after her coronation. Nonetheless, he insisted Josephine keep her titles of Empress, even after he had remarried an Austrian princess.

Perhaps, Napolean dealt with torment over his choice. And possibly, Josephine considered him her true love. She died within five years after the divorce. On his deathbed (according to historical accountws), Napolean spoke these last words: “France, l’armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine”

According to War History Online, Napolean’s and Josephine’s marriage contract went on sale for $20,000 on Valentine’s Day in 2015.

Surprise your historical fiction lover with a

Kindle edition of Silk or Sugar today.

The French Connection Novels

Purchase the Return to Chateau Fleury, the second book in The French Connection Series, on Amazon if you haven’t read it yet. The story begins in Paris in 1998. American Claire Bennett is determined to solve the mystery surrounding her French heritage.

The novel covers two time periods. Claire and French aristocrat, Marc-Claude de Laval, are intertwined in a shared past life together during the French Revolution.  

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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