Leading up to Valentine's Day, we see red hearts and red roses everywhere.
Red is a powerful and striking colour. It is used for so many things.
In China it is the colour of good fortune and prosperity.
We use it on stop signs and traffic lights to communicate danger.
In the Middle Ages a red flag was waved to show intent to defend with no mercy.
How did Red Become the Colour of Love?
There was a popular French poem in the 13th century called Roman de la Rose (The romance of the Rose) about the author's search for a red rose to symbolise his love of a woman.
Nowadays, modern scientific research shows the colour red has a very real effect on sexual attraction and hence, the emotion of "love".
Where Did the Name Valentine Come From?
A Roman Catholic Priest, St Valentine, was executed on 14th February 269 AD. At that time the Emperor Claudias prohibited marriage of young people as he believed married men did not make good soldiers. St Valentine married couples in secret until he was caught and imprisoned.
Whilst in prison he cured a young girls blindness. Legend has it that the last words he ever wrote before being executed were to her and it was signed simply "from your Valentine".
Over the decades, the two have come together to be celebrated as Valentine's Day.