The Real Story of Valentine’s Day and what to do locally

By on January 18, 2020

Valentine’s Day is most often credited to the martyrdom of two Christians, both named Valentine by the roman emperor Claudius II both on February 14th but years apart.  Legend has it that when Claudius needed more men for his army he outlawed marriage but these two men persisted in their romantic ways, one even wooing the jailers daughter.

However the festival; actually dates back farther than that to a celebration in roman culture of fertility that and let’s just say “togetherness” that included lots of drinking.  A Catholic Pope later made things even more confused by trying to adopt this festival and Valentine’s bloody history and mixing them together. Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Gallatin’s Day. Gallatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike.

Shakespeare and Chaucer further romanticized the date in their works and added to the legend. The exchange of paper cards around this time became a tradition among lovers and then the date was firmly cemented when in 1913 Hallmark began mass producing what we now know as Valentine’s Day Cards.  Valentines card and related items sales are approaching 20 billion a year.

Locally you will have a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a night of food, wine, song and romance at Riley’s farm.

“Celebrate this tradition of romance on Riley’s Farm this year, with great Italian food, love songs by the Harmony Sisters, and dancing! Share a sonnet for your loved one, or test your skill as Cupid in our archery contest for a chance to win a delicious prize from our bakery. With a candle-lit tavern, a mouth-watering meal, fine wine, and a sweetheart by your side, you can’t go wrong!”

The events will take place on February 14 and 15.  For more information and to purchase tickets just go to