If there’s one holiday that’s bitter and sweet in equal measure, Valentine’s Day is it. Sure, you get to celebrate the biggest love of your life. But the day also comes with an expensive set of expectations. Dinner! Flowers! Chocolates! Gifts! But did you know that if you shop for those gifts in the SmarterBucks Marketplace you can earn rewards that pay down your student loans? It’s an easy way to capitalize on the money you’re already spending on the most romantic day of the year—which, if we do say so ourselves, has got an interesting history. Check it out:
1. Before Chaucer’s time, Valentine’s Day had no romantic connotations.
It was a religious celebration of at least three saints named either Valentine or Valentinus. They were all martyred. Then Chaucer wrote several famous Valentine Poems in the 14th century on the subject of love, or lovers pairing up, and the holiday as we know it was born.
2. The oldest known valentine was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans.
During his imprisonment in the Tower of London (after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt!), he wrote his wife a poem, which included the following line: “I am already sick of love, my very gentle valentine.” Yeah, we know. Epic. Feel free to start swooning.
3. Cupid, god of desire and affection—and practically the modern symbol of Valentine’s Day—didn’t originally have the bow and arrow.
In fact, in Classical Greek, he wasn’t even a chubby flying boy. He was a fit winged youth named Eros.
4. Valentine’s Day is an international holiday.
It’s celebrated all over the world, including: Mexico, Canada, France, The United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Japan, China, Italy, and even Portugal, where it’s called Dia dos Namorados—or Day of the Enamored.