Culture Holidays The History of Valentine's Day By Jenn Savedge Writer University of Strathclyde Ithaca College Jenn Savedge is an environmental author and lecturer. She’s a former national park ranger who has written three books on eco-friendly living our editorial process Jenn Savedge Updated February 14, 2020 How much do we really know about St. Valentine, really?. (Photo: Snapshot from video) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day? I'll be honest — before watching this video, I thought Valentine's Day was just a made-up holiday, one invented by the card and candy industries to sell us more stuff. But as it turns out, Valentine's Day has a much richer history than I gave it credit for. While the modern version of Valentine's Day has generally become an over-commercialized shopping fest, it's interesting to note where and how the holiday got started. And maybe it's worth swapping cards and sweet treats just to celebrate the fact that the day is no longer symbolized by slapping women with animal skins to increase fertility. History. It's good to know.