Saint Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sendingValentine’s Card and candy, often anonymously. It is very common to give flowers on Valentine's Day.
The association of the middle of February with love and fertility dates to ancient times. On the ancient Athens calendar, the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.
In Ancient Rome, February 15 was Lupercalia. The word Lupercalia comes from lupus, or wolf, so the holiday may be connected with the legendary wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning "Juno the purifier“ or "the chaste Juno," was celebrated on February 13-14.
In 494 AD, Pope Gelasius I renamed Juno Februata's feast day. It is now known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. The date was also changed to February 2. To appease the pagans, the Church created a romantic holiday (Valentine’s Day) on February 14.
Saint Valentine His birth date and birthplace are unknown. The feast of St. Valentine was first decreed in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among those "... whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God."
The 3 Legends of St. Valentine Legend #1 The priest Valentine was arrested and put into prison.He was incarcerated because he did not worship the Roman gods. After being in prison for many years, he was presented to Claudius II (known as Claudius the Cruel). Valentine stood by his convictions and still refused to worship any other but his God. Claudius II was outraged. The ruler sealed Valentine's fate and condemned him to die. In the meantime, Valentine had become friends with one of the prison guard’s daughters who was blind. Valentine sent her a note before he was martyred. When the girl opened the note, her sight was restored. She could read the signature of the person who had signed the note. The note was signed "from your Valentine."
Legend #2 Claudius II was interested in building a great army. He recognized that married men would not make effective soldiers because they would be concerned about their wives and families. To stem this problem, Claudius II forbade young couples to marry. Valentine had great empathy for the young couples who wanted to marry. He chose to marry couples in secret. However, Valentine's service was discovered and he was put to death for breaking the law.
Legend #3 Valentine loved flowers and tended a lovely flower garden where children could enjoy their beauty and fragrance. When Valentine was in prison, the children would bring him flowers from his garden. Accompanying the bouquets were notes saying how they loved and missed him.
Valentine's Day in North America Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century by British settlers. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, and she took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received. Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary". In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manners of gifts in the United States, usually from a man to a woman. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates. In the 1980s, the diamonds industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving jewelry
In some North American elementary schools, students are asked to give a Valentine card or small gift to everyone in the class. The greeting cards of these students often mention what they appreciate about each other.
Valentine's Day in other cultures Thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, Valentine's Day has emerged in Japan and Korea as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like. This has become an obligation for many women. Those who work in offices end up giving chocolates to all their male co-workers, sometimes at significant personal expense. This chocolate is known as giri-choko ( 義理チョコ ), in Japan, from the words giri (obligation) and choko , a common short version of chokorēto ( チョコレート ), meaning chocolate. This contrasts with honmei-choko , which is given to a person someone loves or has a strong relationship with. Friends, especially girls, exchange chocolate that is referred to as tomo-choko ( 友チョコ ); tomo means friend in Japanese.
According to Jewish tradition the 15th day of the month of Av – Tu B’av (usually late August) is the festival of love (hag haahava). In ancient times girls would wear white dresses and dance in the vineyards, where the boys would be waiting for them (Mishna Taanith end of Chapter 4). In modern Israeli culture this is a popular day to pronounce love, propose marriage and give gifts like cards or flowers.
In Colombia , the "Día del amor y la amistad" (lit. "Love and Friendship Day") is celebrated on the third Friday and Saturday in September, because of commercial issues. In this country the Amigo secreto ("Secret friend") tradition is quite popular, which consists of randomly assigning to each participant a recipient who is to be given an anonymous gift (similar to the Christmas tradition of Secert Santa). In Mexico , the "Día del amor y la amistad" is celebrated similar to Colombia but this one falls on February 14.
In Brazil, there is no Valentine's Day. Instead, "Dia dos Namorados" (lit. "Day of the enamored", or "Boyfriend's/Girlfriend's Day") is celebrated on June 12, when couples exchange gifts such as lingerie, chocolates, cards and usually a flower bouquet. This day is chosen probably because it is the day before the Saint Anthony's day, known there as the marriage saint , when many single women perform popular rituals in order to find a good husband (or nowadays, a boyfriend).