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Valentine’s Day
On every 14th of February, all the people around the world exchange gifts, flowers, and candies between their loved ones, in the name of St. Valentine. Now you must be thinking that who is this mysterious saint and from where all these traditions come from? Here is the history of thus centuries old holiday.
The Legend of St. Valentine
The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron are shrouded in mystery. The month of February is celebrated as the month of romance. St. Valentine’s Day contains the vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Now the question which might be arising in your mind is who was Saint Valentine and how is he associated with all this?
There were three different saints who were recognized by the Catholic Church named Valentine or Valentinus. All of them were brutally martyred. It is believed that Valentine was a priest who was served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that single men are better soldiers than those who are married and have families. That’s why he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine realized the injustice of Claudius and he continued to perform the marriages for young lovers in secret.
When Claudius found about these secret activities performed by Valentine, then it was ordered to put him to death. According to one legend, it is believed that Valentine was imprisoned and from there he sent his first “valentine” greeting to the girl whom he loved truly. The girl for whom he fell was his jailor’s daughter. Before his death, he wrote a beautiful letter for her and signed it as “From your Valentine”. This expression is still used by everyone on Valentine’s Day. All of his stories emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most important of all is his romantic figure.
Origins of Valentine’s Day
Some of the people think that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or his burial. On the other hand some believe that Christians might have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in middle of February.
Modern Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day gained popularity in England in the 1700’s. People began to send cards and flowers to their loved ones and this tradition is still continued today. It was Hallmark who printed the first Valentine’s Day card commercially in the year 1913. Today every year more than a billion of Valentine’s Day cards are sold. It is the second busiest greeting card period of the year, in the line behind Christmas.
At present more than 36 million hearts shaped boxes of chocolates and more than 50 million roses are sold every year on Valentine’s Day.
Fun Valentine’s Facts
  • You should not sign a Valentine’s Card as it is considered bad luck. It is believed that it should be given anonymously.
  • In the middle ages, the young men and women used to draw the names of their Valentines. They used to pin the name to their sleeve. It was done to inspire the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
  • It is great to know that around 3% of the pet owners give a Valentine’s Day gift to their pets.
  • February 14th is also Single Awareness Day.
  • More than 50 percent of Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in six days before the holiday by the customers.
  • 73% flowers are purchased by men on Valentine’s Day and only 27% by the women.

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