February is widely known as the month of love because of Valentine’s Day on the 14th. During this month we can expect to see various shades of pink and red décor in stores and homes. We can also expect to see lots of hearts, because heart is the symbol of love in most modern societies. It is not known how this heart symbolism came about. Even the History Channel’s website says that “its historical origins are difficult to pin down.” However, there are a few theories, such as it may have originated from a heart-shaped plant that is was used for birth control. Some scholars “argued that the symbol has its roots in the writings of Galen and the philosopher Aristotle, who described the human heart as having three chambers with a small dent in the middle.” Therefore, “since the human heart has long been associated with emotion and pleasure, the shape was eventually co-opted as a symbol of romance and medieval courtly love.”
Whatever the origin may be, it is safe to say that associating the heart with love, romance, and Valentine’s Day is here to stay. So, it’s probably not a coincidence that the month of February is also the American Heart Month, and also recognized as National Heart Month worldwide. Those two observances should remind us all to love our hearts enough to take care of them and keep them healthy.
Below you will find those two observances, along with other health related awareness recognitions for the month of February:
February 23-March 1: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week