FIRST, SOME HISTORY
St. Valentine’s Day is always February 14. Lovers express their affection by gifts, cards and greetings.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are vague. In mid February, Romans celebrated the festival of Lupercalia, which included fertility rites and the pairing of men and women.
But at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I brought an end to the festival and may have changed the name to St. Valentine’s Day.
There were several Christian martyrs by the name of Valentine. One of these, St. Valentine of Terni, secretly married couples so that the husbands could avoid war – which was in defiance of the emperor’s orders.
In any event, the day only became associated with romance in the 14th century.
Formal messages – Valentines – began to appear in the 15th century. By the late 1700s, Valentine cards were used and they were commercially printed in the United States in the mid 1800s.
Mating season for birds is traditionally thought to begin in mid February, which also could explain the holiday, at least to the extent that birds are often shown on Valentine’s cards.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in these countries:
- The United States
- South Korea
- The Philippines (where mass weddings of hundreds of couples may be held on this day)
GIFTS FOR WIVES OR GIRL FRIENDS
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GIFTS FOR HUSBANDS OR BOY FRIENDS
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Have a great, romantic Valentine’s Day! Be a lover!