The Truth About Valentine's Day

It’s easy to feel jaded. To shrug and assume that Valentine’s day is just some capitalist conspiracy designed to make us feel inadequate and lonely. An emptiness for which retail is the only therapy.

But Valentines is an ancient tradition- founded in Rome- to help couples pair off (like an early form of Tinder). Originally taking place between the 13-15 February the Lupercalia was a celebration of spring and fertility. Girls put their names in an urn and the boys picked out a partner for the festival (and maybe longer if the pairing worked). Let’s not dwell on the fact that the festival also involved the boys beating the girls with animal hides (as a fertility ritual).

The pagan celebration got a Christian rebranding and a new name- Saint Valentine’s Day. We should probably also gloss over that he was a prisoner who fell in love with the gaoler’s daughter and sent her a love note signed “from your Valentine” just before he was executed.

Thankfully things have become a lot more civilised since those early days. The Victorian custom was to send anonymous cards and flowers- often with secret messages hidden in lace panels.

Of course sending something anonymously would be no fun in our results orientated age- as we want the gratification (and preferably an Instagram thank you/boast).  But actually it's more that the festival has evolved once again. Now it's less about declaring yourself to someone new than it is about honouring the one you're with. So what better way to do this than with a gift from Spiero for the home you share.

Go ahead and browse our gift selection below- safe in the knowledge that you are observing an ancient custom (and that we don't sell animal hides).