The Rainbow Butterfly

Creating beauty, strength & happiness through adversity

Valentine’s Day origins and how to celebrate on a budget

Cute "I love you" teddy bear

Valentine’s Day – Who started this tradition?


Did you ever wonder about how Valentine’s Day started? Why do we send cards with messages of admiration to people we love? Why is the love heart associated with Valentine’s Day?

Well I love the knowing the history behind these events. So I took to the internet and did some research and this is what I found.

The origin of Valentine’s Day

St Valentine, Valentine's Day

The man who started it all! Saint Valentine.

St Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived during the 3rd century AD.  

During this time there were severe laws enforced against Christianity.

The Emperor of the time, Claudius II had also banned soldiers from marrying. He believed that married men would not serve well in his army.

St Valentine thought this to be a huge injustice and continued to baptise and marry couples in secret despite violating the laws.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered he was imprisoned for his crimes and sentenced to death. He fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. He converted her to Christianity and while praying with her is said to have cured her blindness. He wrote her a letter to say goodbye that was signed “from your Valentine.” This was on the 14th Feb which was the day of his execution.

The feast of St Valentine was established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I to celebrate a man “whose acts were only known to God.”

St Valentine’s actions are a reminder that sometimes you have to take risks in your life for what you truly believe in.

When did the tradition of card sending start?

Embroidered Valentine's Day Card

Embroidered Valentines Day card from the Victorian Era. Made with lace and ribbons.


It wasn’t until the mid-18th Century that the sending of cards became popular. Cards were handmade and decorated with lace and ribbons with hand written messages of love to their recipient. Originally Valentine’s cards were sent anonymously as it was seen as bad luck to sign with your name. It was also during this time that the giving of roses became popular as they were seen as a symbol of passion. Pic of Victorian handmade v-day card



Where did the love heart symbol come from?

Aristotle heart sketches (Valentine's Day)

4th Century sketches of the heart by Aristotle. If you turn your head to the left side you can see the “love heart shape”


One theory, which is the one I personally think is most likely, is that the heart shape comes from artistic representations of ancient medical texts from the Middle Ages, which was described as two chambers with a dent in the middle. 

The human heart was associated with emotion and pleasure which is why it eventually became the symbol of romance

By the 18th & 19th Century the love heart became a popular symbol used in love notes and Valentine’s cards




So now we know the origins of Valentine’s Day how do we celebrate it today??

Even though Valentine’s Day is not a designated holiday it is a very popular event in which people choose to spoil their loved one with tokens of their affection. If you take a look around your local area you are sure to find Valentine’s Day specials at cafes, restaurants, hotels etc.

The most popular gifts bought for loved ones include:


Valentines Day choccies.

Chocolates for your loved one on Valentines Day.

  • cards
  • roses
  • chocolates
  • jewellery
  • teddy bears 





There are many Valentine Day activities that you can spoil your loved one with:


Valentine's Day Picnic

Romantic Valentine’s Day picnic

  • romantic picnic for two 
  • candlelit dinner
  • a boat cruise
  • a romantic weekend away





Considering the options of what you could buy for your loved one on Valentine’s Day it could easily become very costly!!

After learning to live on a very strict budget for the last couple of years, I have become very creative when it comes to celebrations such as Valentine’s Day.

So how can we celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget?

When you remember the true meaning of Valentine’s Day it is not money that is important but more the thought that you put into making your loved one feel special.

So first of all have a think about your partner’s favourite things. Do they love music?? Do they have a favourite animal?? Do they love poetry? Or do they love to have a laugh?

Use the list that you come up with as a basis to find the perfect gift.

Here are some examples:
  • Make them a “mixed tape” OK… well obviously cassette tapes no longer exist but you can put it on a USB stick or a CD. Use songs that remind you both of your first dance or your favourite band.
  • You could try drawing their favourite animal on a handmade card. (Tracing is a great thing here if you are no good at drawing freehand like me!) 
  • Have a go at writing a poem. It does not need to be a literary masterpiece. If you write what you feel from the heart that is going to mean more than if the poem is grammatically correct.
  • Make a humorous card with a cartoon drawing (you can get some good ideas from the internet) or play a practical joke on them (if that is what they are in to!)

All of the above ideas do not cost a thing. The only you thing you need is time.

Here are a few more ideas of cheap/easy/DIY things to do on Valentine’s Day:
  • Handmade cards are a wonderful way to personalise your message especially for your Valentine.
  • Baking is a great way to introduce a bit of romance and can be given as a gift e.g. love heart shaped cookies, sweets, cupcakes (you can buy a love heart shaped mould from your local K-Mart)
  • Instead of going to an expensive restaurant why not organise a quiet, romantic picnic.
  • Make a photo collage to share all your favourite memories – you can use a free program like Canva or Pic Money
  • Make a love heart garland out of paper and string 
  • If you have a creative streak you could give Origami a go: you can make love hearts /stars /flowers 

If you would like to give origami a go yourself here are a couple of great websites that you can learn from:

  • Stars:
  • Hearts:

There are many different variations of hearts and stars that you can make. There are many versions available on the above website with step by step instructions.

Check out the photos below. These are things that I have made previously for my wonderful BP!!

I hope that this article has given you some good ideas!! 

Whatever you end up doing I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

Keep smiling & Stay strong.



It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Pin on Pinterest
Email this to someone
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Google+


  1. Christiana

    Great info Sonny! Thank you

    1. SonnyJ78 (Post author)

      Hi christiana, glad you liked the article! Did you do anything to celebrate Valentine’s Day?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *