Every year, thanks to Saint Valentine, ladies receive bouquets of flowers, chocolates, cards, and some lucky ones even get jewelry and marriage proposals. We are all excited for the Valentine’s Day. However, many of us have never thought about the origins of St. Valentine, giving us our little happiness.
The history of the celebration goes back to the Roman times and doesn’t happen to be romantic in any way. The Catholic Church recognizes three saints named Valentine, who were martyred in the name of their faith. However, none of them has anything to do with patronizing the beloved. The first of them died in Carthage alongside with other believers. The second was a bishop of Terni (in Italy), executed during the persecution of Christians. The third – presbyter Valentin- was beheaded in 270 and was buried along the Via Flaminia. The relics of the Presbyter Valentine are resting partly in Rome, partly in Dublin and those of the bishop – in the city of Terni.
After the reform of the Roman Catholic Saints calendar in 1969, the church celebration of St. Valentine’s was abolished due to the absence of any information about this martyr. The Roman Catholic Church does not perform any special service on the day. It is believed to be more of a folk tradition rather than a religious celebration. Instead, the Catholic liturgical calendar celebrates the memory of the Equals-to-the Apostels, Cyril and Methodius, on February the 14th.
We owe our romantic stories and legends about unfortunate lovers to the medieval authors. That is when the Valentine’s Day starts to be perceived in its modern conception. According to one legend, Valentine was a priest who lived during the reign of the evil Emperor Claudius II.The latter banned all wedding ceremonies not to burden his soldiers with family duties. He believed that unmarried men were the best warriors. Valentine, compassionate with the lovers, was secretly consecrating these marriages. The authorities soon learned about his “illegal” activities and sentenced the priest to death.
The English and French XIV century literature, in particular, “the father of English poetry” Geoffrey Chaucer finally established the 14th of February as the Day of All Beloved in his poem “The Bird Parliament”. The English poet thus gives a romantic connotation to the Valentine’s day for the first time ever.
According to the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia, the 14th of February in England and Scotland has its own traditions. On the eve of St. Valentine’s, the young lads were putting tickets in a box bearing the names of young girls. They would then each draw their own ticket. In the coming year, that a particular girl would become his “Valentina” and a Dame of heart whom he would serve like a medieval knight.
The custom of sending cards to your loved ones on the Valentine’s Day also dates back to the Middle Ages. The very first “valentine” is a love letter sent by the Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415 from the Tower of London where Charles I was imprisoned after the Battle of Agincourt. The legendary letter was a poem of his own making, presently on a display at the British Museum.
Nowadays, the Valentine’s Day is celebrated on a grand scale in the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the UK. In the 17th century the British started a tradition of sending wishes to their friends and loved ones with a help of special cards.
In the early 18th century the oriental “language of flowers” came into fashion. Special dictionaries were published explaining the meaning of different plants. The red rose, a flower of the Roman goddess of love Venus, is still an integral part of the St. Valentine’s. However, the most popular symbols of the day are images of hearts, Cupids and pigeons dating back to the 18th century.
In the early 1900, certain religious celebrations took a completely commercial scale. Christmas is now officially the most commercial holiday of the year, while Valentine’s Day is another “gold mine” for flower shops, restaurants and merchants selling festive paraphernalia.
The 19th century saw the mass production of Valentine cards. According to the statistics, they are the most popular printed products in the world. On the 14th of February the British mail is having hard times, with about 25 million cards being sent on the occasion by the British in love. The Americans, however, beat all records. In 2015, the Valentine’s Day brought 18.9 billion dollars into the US budget. What are the traditional gifts for the day?
According to the National Retail Federation, an average price of a gift ranges from 92 to 274 dollars depending on the country.
With the advent of internet, love letters and postcards became available online and their number has grown to 15 million worldwide. A quarter of the Thai population thus prefers online valentines. Japan has another tradition of ladies giving chocolates to their loved ones. And 85% of French women expect a ring for a gift! In the US, 190 million valentines are bought every year. The Americans give love cards not only to their beloved, but also to family members, children and even teachers.
According to the Greeting Card Association, the card market on the Valentine’s Day in the United States amounts to 1 billion dollars.
Germany comes most resistant to this “flower and candy” holiday with 31% of its population forgetting about the day altogether.
How to celebrate the St. Valentine’s Day in Monaco?
The holiday of love is quickly approaching. Look no further: magical Monaco is the ideal setting to celebrate your love.The Monte-Carlo SBM Resort offers guests luxury, privilege, emotion, legend, enjoyment in many forms, wellness and innovation in exceptional conditions.
Elegant restaurants, gourmet dining, a candlelight dinner or a touch of exoticism: there is something for everyone!
Franck Cerutti, Franck Lafon, Marcel Ravin and Benoît Witz are the four renowned chefs behind delicious Valentine’s Day menus.
The Salle Empire – Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo
Menu “Valentine’s Day Gourmet” from Franck Cerutti. From €170 per person (including one glass of rosé champagne).
Each guest will receive a chocolate heart, but only one will receive a white heart. That lucky guest will win a dinner for two at Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l’Hotel de Paris and a piece of jewellery from Maison Pomellato.
More information and reserve you can find here.
Menu Dinner with musical entertainment. From €170 per person (including a half-bottle of rosé champagne).
Menu “S’apprêterpour… Appâter” what means “Getting ready to… temptation”. From €150 per person (one glass of champagne offered as an aperitif). This Marcel Ravin’s menu is expressly made to charm the couple. The chef Marcel Ravin offers diners the chance to sample ecstatically innovative cuisine that has devised over a lifetime. Ravin hails from the French Carribbean, and those influences are palpable. Sink your expectant teeth into a saddle of lamb, roasted with Voatsiperifery pepper and delightfully coupled with new vegetables smothered in a tamarind mayonnaise. Live music by Dominic Dell piano from 9 pm and from 7:30 pm to 9 pm at the Blue Gin Bar.
More information and reserve you can find here.
Menu – €80 per person, drinks not included, a glass of Champagne included.
Enjoy the idyllic sea view while sampling the creative hot avocado soufflé and chocolate, served with almond, coconut and cinnamon ice cream. Franck Lafon is the renowned chefs behind the delicious Valentine’s Day menu at the Café de Paris.
More information and reservations: (377) 98 06 76 23, (377) 98 06 76 24.
Valentine’s Day Menu €94 per person, including one glass of champagne.
Thanks to an extraordinary culinary experience, you and that special someone can take a culinary journey to discover exotic flavors.
More information and booking on the website of the Buddha Bar.
Valentine’s Day Menu: € 60 per person, including a glass of Champagne
Surprise your partner by audaciously choosing to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the heart of slot machines!
More information and booking: T.: (377) 98 06 21 21;
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Monaco is all about prestige, romanticism, excellence and adventures! So if you want to get James Bond experience, where to go? To Monaco. If cost is not an issue, drop $12,000 on your beloved with the “Golden Eye Experience” – guaranteed to bring out the best James Bond in guests.
The Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo offers this tour for guests staying in their penthouse suite, which has panoramic views of the Mediterranean and Monaco.
Kick off with a private tour of Monte Carlo Casino, as seen in numerous Bond films, before taking off in an Aston Martin, complete with Bond music, to head off to a helicopter trip.
Lunch follows at Joël Robuchon’s only Japanese restaurant, Yoshi, before a car tour of the French Riviera.
Return to the hotel for a massage, vodka Martini, dinner, cigars and a spin in the casino.
Finally, to make these evenings truly unforgettable, book a stay in one of the three luxury hotels owned by the SBM – Société des Bains de Mer and take advantage of numerous benefits with the Monte-Carlo Cercle Card, exclusive to Monte-Carlo SBM Resort clients. Go for his and her massages – you’re both worth after all. Enjoy a day of pampering at a luxury spa you can book within the package. You’ll each get an indulgent treatment and a full day’s access to all the spa’s facilities, which range from saunas to relaxing steam rooms.
For information and reservations: T. + 377 98 06 25 25