Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal. If you’re short on ideas, the Dating Divas offer a list of 115 Literal last-minute Valentine’s Day ideas to save your goose!
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival that occurred on February 15th.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY
Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) aims to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives it saves. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
Each type of donation saves lives. While we may be able to donate blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people.
Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. They can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDonorDay
If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets, or blood, share your story.
Use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY HISTORY
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support and many nonprofit health organizations.
NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATES DAY
Chocolate lovers rejoice as February 14th is National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day! On the same day, approximately 58 million pounds of chocolate will be purchased. Much of it will be in heart-shaped boxes, filled with bite-sized chocolates with ooey, gooey centers. Quite a few of these cream-filled goodies will be exchanged and shared on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate makers offer a wide variety of cream-filled goodness, too. Take your pick from marshmallow cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, hazelnut creme and even creme de menthe. How about coffee cream filled chocolates? Nearly every fruit you can imagine can be made into some sort of creamy center.
What’s inside those hard chocolate shells? Well, many chocolate makers provide a map so you don’t accidentally eat one that doesn’t sit well with you. One way to completely avoid the mystery is to create your own gift box with flavors you select. Some chocolate makers offer this option. Not only do you select the chocolates your love likes best, but it’s a personalized gift, too. How chocolately sweet is that? It’s also a terrific way to avoid biting into a flavor that will ruin the evening.
Another way to make cream-filled chocolates extra special is by making your own.
No matter how you celebrate, be sure you bite into a cream-filled chocolate or two that you like!
HOW TO OBSERVE #CreamFilledChocolatesDay
You know what day is it is so sample a few of your favorite cream-filled chocolates and give a few, too. They can even be in a heart-shaped box if you like. What other ways can you celebrate?
- Host a cream-filled chocolate sampling party. Invite friends to make one of their favorites to bring and everyone will get to sample. Supply fruit and sparkling wine to complement the chocolates.
- Take your party a notch further. Test your sampling skills by seeing who can identify the most cream-filled mystery chocolate flavors. Varieties can range from sweet to savory. We’re thinking a little bacon flavor here, a little coffee there.
- Try your hand at making your own cream-filled chocolates. While we often give chocolate as a romantic gesture, why not make it together instead. Turn up the heat in the kitchen and melt each others’ hearts while you melt some chocolate. We even supply you with a recipe to try. Nutella Creme Filled Chocolates
- Enter our Valentine’s Day selfie giveaway!
Post a selfie of you and your Valentine enjoying your favorite cream-filled chocolate on our Cream Filled Chocolates Day post with #CelebrateMyValentine. On Facebook tag us with @NationalDayCalendar. You can also post your photo on Instagram with the same hashtag and tag us @natdaycal. You will be entered for a chance to win two (2) pairs of socks from the National Day Calendar selection. Couples, families, friends, everyone with a United States address are eligible. You must keep the photos clean. We are a family-friendly site. Single folks, invite your canine, feline, or bottle of wine into the photo. We will accept those, too!
Giveaway runs from 8 AM to 12 AM CST, February 14, 2021. One winner will be randomly selected. Prizes will be selected by National Day Calendar.
Share your celebration using #CreamFilledChocolatesDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATES DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this mysterious food holiday. We’ve not even found a chart to guide us through the various fillings, so we’re taking our chances and hoping for salted caramel or dark chocolate nougat. And yes, still searching for the founder of this chocolate celebration!
NATIONAL FERRIS WHEEL DAY
February 14th is the annual observance of National Ferris Wheel Day. The holiday honors the birth of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., the man who invented the Ferris Wheel.
Preparations for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition began in earnest in 1891. Director of works for the fair, Daniel H. Burnham, laid out the challenge: create a centerpiece to the show that will rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Erected the year before, the Eiffel Tower quickly became a world attraction. Ideas were tossed about, plans presented, and plans rejected.
George Washington Gale Ferris was inspired. He contemplated several ideas, but it wasn’t until one evening in a Chicago chophouse that he struck on an idea that could fit the challenge. After sketching out the design on napkins, he proceeded to develop his plans.
When presented with the concept, Burnham balked, doubting it could safely carry people to such heights. Ferris persisted. Spending $25,000 of his own money, he paid for safety studies, obtained $600,000 more from investors, hired engineers, built the 250-foot diameter wheel, and hoisted it up between 140-foot twin towers.
It was a colossal success at 26 stories tall and making a whopping $726,805.50. In 1893, that was a hefty profit for the fair.
Despite the wheel’s success, Ferris struggled after the fair. Lawsuits over who owed who bankrupt him. His wife left him. In 1896, a few short years after the fair, he died at the age of 37 of typhoid fever.
The original wheel suffered a similar fate. In 1906, it was destroyed with dynamite for scrap metal. However, the Ferris Wheel lives on, and we continue to enjoy wheels around the world.
WHEELS AROUND THE WORLD
- Tianjin Eye Ferris Wheel in Tianjin, China, is built over a bridge spanning the Hai River.
- The London Eye overlooks the Thames River in London.
- The Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company built the ever classic Wonder Wheel of Coney Island in New York City from 1918-1920.
- Take your breath away looking over Niagara Falls from a seat on the Niagara Skywheel in Canada.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFerrisWheelDay
If you are near a Ferris Wheel, catch a lift up to the top and enjoy the view. Invite someone to join you and share the experience. As you know, it’s the best way to #CelebrateEveryDay! Share your favorite Ferris Wheel using #NationalFerrisWheelDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL FERRIS WHEEL DAY HISTORY
We’ve been around and around about the origins of this day. And while we know it honors the inventor of the Ferris Wheel; we have yet to identify the founder of the day.
February 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law a bill creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Following the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States, Carrie Chapman Catt formed the League of Women Voters.
Businessman and race car driver, Bill France Sr. incorporated the National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR).
NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe successfully returns photos of the Solar System that include the Sun and six planets.
Recipe of the Day
Prep Time: 20 minutes
2 lbs thin sliced Pastrami
6 dill pickles – sliced in half lengthwise
6 slices Swiss or Havarti cheese
Jar of Peppercinis
12 slices Rye sandwich bread
Warm pastrami in skillet until hot.
Divide meat evenly over 6 slices of bread.
Add cheese, pickles, and Peppercinis to taste.
Place the second piece of bread over each sandwich.
If desired you can fry the sandwich in your skillet prior to serving.
February 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Frederick Douglass – 1817
The prominent orator led the abolitionist movement and social reforms. He wrote and spoke often, advocating for civil rights and women’s right to vote.
Anna Howard Shaw – 1847
The American physician was also a minister and an advocate of the temperance and suffrage movements.
Jack Benny – 1894
The American comedian started his career in vaudeville. He would gain popularity on radio and television, hosting comedy programs that kept Americans and the world laughing.
Gregory Hines – 1946
The renowned American dancer and singer earned critical acclaim for his stage performance in Jelly’s Last Jam. He also gained popular recognition for his performances in Tap and White Nights.
Mary Ann Prout – 1801
George Washington Gale Ferris – 1859
Margaret E Knight – 1838
Florence Henderson – 1934
Rob Thomas – 1972
About National Day Calendar
National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.