Vintage photos of Valentine's Day celebrations
Discover how Valentine's Day was celebrated in the past
© Getty Images
The Feast of St. Valentine has been celebrated since the Middle Ages, but the day of romance filled with chocolates and flowers is a more recent phenomenon. The martyred St. Valentine became the saint of love, and Pope Gelasius I replaced the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia with St. Valentine's Day.
People began to share Valentine's Day messages of love in the 1500s, and formal printed Valentine's Day cards appeared in the 1700s. From the 19th century onwards the whole thing snowballed to include proposals, mass marriages, and match-making festivals, and today Valentine's Day is celebrated by everyone from school children to nursery home residents.
Let's take a look at how Valentine's Day has been celebrated in different countries over the past century through these rare vintage photos. Click through the gallery to get started!
TRAVEL Far east
CELEBRITY Pantone color of the year
CELEBRITY High school
HEALTH Human condition