The year’s biggest day of love occurs tomorrow and if you’re lucky enough to be in love you’ve already bought your gift. Okay, guys… we know you haven’t, but there’s still time! There’s a great history of tradition behind the three big gifts given on Valentine’s Day; flowers, cards and chocolate; and there’s a story behind how each of these became essential. Here’s how…

Valentine’s Day flowers began as a tradition in the 17th century, since roses, which represent love in all its forms, were the flowers of choice for the Day. The rose is known as the favorite flower of Venus, the Goddess of Love, because it stood for strong feelings. As a result, lovers began giving flowers to those they cared about to show their love for each other, which often knew no bounds.

Throughout school, we all gave cards, right? But where did this tradition of Valentine’s Day cards begin? Well, back in 1415, Charles the Duke of Orleans wrote a poem for his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London on Valentine’s Day. By the 16th century, cards had become so common on Valentine’s Day that several religious leaders preached against them. By the early 19th century, it was the most popular way to show your love on the special day.

However, it was not until the 1800s that the ability to send cards through mail by the average person greatly increased the exposure of Valentine Day’s cards.

Nowadays, over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually – we hope one of them finds its way to you.

What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? Well we can thank the Spanish explorers who brought chocolate back to the Old World from the New World in the 17th century. Soon enough the popularity increased in Europe and chocolate, possibly for its aphrodisiac effects, became the candy of choice for the lover’s holiday.

These days, many husbands will bring their wives a bouquet of roses, a card and a box of chocolates to cover all the bases and show their love in the best way possible on Valentine’s Day – well okay, the second-best way.

Now that you know the history of the gifts of Valentine’s Day, you can understand the reasons behind the roses, cards and chocolate and help those around you appreciate the holiday more. However, don’t stop there. Try and create your own traditions for Valentine’s Day. You never know, in 300 years everyone could be doing it.