Valentines Day

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England. Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.
Every celebration is representative of a past event or an occurrence which may have happened on the ‘date’ some years, months or days back. The occasion of Valentines Day on February 14 has a similar association with it. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
Some other associations with Valentines Day are related to the spring season. The spring season begins around mid February in most parts of the world. Therefore, this is the time when birds (in the European subcontinent where this festival originated) go out and look for their mates. This is the reason that this day has been chosen for its reference to the mating season of birds and to fertility. Another association of this Day is to some fertility festivals of early European era. Ancient Athenians (people of Greek origin) observed February as the month of Gamelion to celebrate the marriage of Greek Gods – Zeus and Hera, ancient Romans (people who lived in the Roman empire, Rome is the capital of the present day Italy) celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia to honor the Roman Gods of fertility – Lupercus and Faunus.
This is one of the most ‘adaptable’ occasions; it has been accepted and celebrated in variable terms by people over all these years since it has become popular. This is a day which has so many facets to it and that too also since it is an occasion which is so personal in nature. That has resulted in the celebration having taken a different flavor with differences in places, regions and cultures across the world. From a day that honors love, this day has evolved into a commercial occasion. From cards and chocolate companies to florists, these days everyone comes into action with the knowledge of Valentine’s Day being round the corner. It has definitely become associated as being one of the most ‘profitable’ occasions in a calendar year.
According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas. Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia and many other parts of the world. Valentine’s Day has also undergone a transformation from a quiet, unassuming observance to a loud commercialized affair. There are different takes on this aspect among the world population. Some people celebrate this day with pomp and gaiety whereas others keep it a private affair. For all those who keep love in their heart, Valentines Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. Be thoughtful and creative in your approach yet sensitive to your Valentines’ desires and you are sure to recreate romance this Valentines Day. Wish you all a very Happy Valentines day
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