Valentine’s Day – The Day of Romance
Nowadays Valentine’s day (14th of February) is celebrated in lots of countries around the world, although it is not a public holiday in most of them. People celebrate this day diferent ways. Some couples enjoy romantic dinners, others give each other small presents like greeting cards, chocolates, jewelry or flowers, especially roses. This is a good day to show your love to the people you care for.
In some cultures it is also a day to appreciate friends in some social circles.
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But where does this tradition actually come from?
Some sources go back to the 3rd century where pagan rituals were performed on this day. This was a period when Fertility rituals were performed in Festivals.
Other sources mention St. Valentine's Day as a liturgical celebration of some early Christian saints named Valentinus.
The most important one was Saint Valentine of Rome. He was imprisoned for ministering to Christians who were persecuted in the Roman Empire and for marrying soldiers who were not allowed to do so. The legend says that during his imprisonment he healed the daughter of Asterius, his jailer. Before he was exectuted, he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.
This day was first mentioned as a celebration of romantic love from the 12th century. This was the time, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it developed into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love by giving to each other flowers, confectionery, and sending valentines cards. In some european countries Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol”.
Valentine's Day customs were developed in early modern England in the 19th century. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, these customs spread to other countries, but they were not so important as for example Santa Claus.
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Due to a marketing effort,Valentine's Day is celebrated in some East Asian countries as well.
Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of Cupid. Since the 19th century customs have changed the handwritten Valentine's card were changed for mass-produced greeting cards.
We wish you a very happy St. Valentine's Day.