Valentine's Day: Passion through the post
This exhibition gives you an insight into some of the more romantic items in our collection. Since about one billion Valentines are sent yearly through the worldwide post, Valentine's day is strongly linked to postal history.
In this exhibition you can uncover some of the beautifully designed cards that people used to send to their loved ones. You can also find out about the difficulties the increase in the number of cards caused for the Post Office.
The origin of Valentine's Day
Choosing a sweetheart on Valentine's Day may be connected with the idea that 14 February is the date on which birds began mating.
The name of the day is linked to a Christian martyr named Valentine. He signed a letter to his jailer's daughter, whom he had befriended and with whom he had fallen in love, "from your Valentine."
It was even believed in the eighteenth century that the festival had developed from the Roman Lupercalia (15 February), which celebrated the coming of spring and included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery.