Valentine's Day History, Background and Other Facts and Information
Do you wish to learn a little about Valentine's Day history?
Officially known as Saint Valentine's Day, February 14th is celebrated every year as a testament to the ones we love, lavishing them with gifts and flowers to express our affections and gratitude.
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The origins of the holiday and the patron saint that it honors have ties in the ancient Roman civilization. Although details are sketchy, it is theorized that St. Valentine, a priest of yore, would marry young couples that were otherwise forbidden to be wed because the emperor decided that young men would make better soldiers than husbands. When the emperor found out, he had Valentine executed, purportedly on the 14th of February. There are other legends surrounding Valentine's Day history, but this is the most widely accepted version.
It appears that the 17th century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer made the first connection between romance and Valentine's Day in his poetic works: "For this was on St Valentine's Day - When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate".
From then on, Valentine's Day has become known as the day for lovers. Cards began to be exchanged in England in the 18th century. These were handmade affairs decorated with lace and hearts. This tradition didn't catch on in America until sometime later, but the giving of cards was soon joined by candy, flowers and gifts. In fact, Valentine's Day is responsible for the largest volume of cards given on any single holiday and accounts for 25% of all card sales every year.
Here's more on Valentine's Day history - the giving of simple love notes and the exchanging of small gifts began in the Middle Ages, and the fact that birds begin looking for mates around this time of year did much to add to the romantic aspect. Fertility festivals were commonplace on Valentine's during this time period, and youngsters were paired off by lot and new love was born.
Another snippet of Valentine's Day history - a New England woman named Esther Howland is credited with mass producing the first Valentine's cards for sale to the public. Chocolate candies soon followed, and the sweet treats remain the most given gift on Valentine's Day, with the rose becoming the official flower of love. Most communities organize dances and get-togethers for lovers to express their love and the commitment that it represents.
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Valentine's Day is celebrated throughout the world in many different countries. People of all nationalities set aside this day for not only celebrating your sweetheart, but those dear to you also, such as friends or relatives.
In Japan, for instance, the celebration is split up into two different days. In February, the women lavish the men with gifts and such, while a month later in March, it becomes the man's turn to reciprocate.
In Denmark, Valentine's Day is more of an activity for the younger population, who traditionally give white flowers called "snowdrops" while sweethearts compose and send romantic poetry known as a "gaekkebrev". Many of the countries celebrate with festivals and special events, all in the name of romance.
Read More: More on the Origin of Valentine's Day | Valentine's Day Facts and Info | Valentine's Day Quotes, Sayings and Verses | Valentine's Day Movies and Songs | Other Valentine's Day Ideas to Celebrate Romantic Love | Various Romantic Ideas | Home Page | Site Search
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