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The 14th of February is a very important day for anybody in a relationship, whether you’re young, old or anywhere in between. It’s a day on which you can share the love with your partner, and exchange tokens of your affection or some other special gift. The year is full of days on which you can show your love for another person, 365 of them to be exact. But Valentine’s Day has become a special day, right across the globe.
Valentine’s Day Has Been Celebrated Throughout History
There are lots of different countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s also known as the Feast of St Valentine and Saint Valentine’s Day. Celebrated on the 14th of February every year, this special occasion for all romantics has been celebrated, in various forms, for centuries.
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What Valentine’s Day Meant for the Romans
Valentine’s Day first started as a celebratory ceremony for one or more early Christian saints. There are three different saints called Valentine or Valentinus, recognised by the Catholic Church, all of whom were renounced for their beliefs. There are various legends that revolve around their characters, the first of which tells of a priest called Valentine, who served in Rome, during the third century. In his wisdom, Emperor Claudius II declared that marriage was outlawed for young men, because he thought that single men made better soldiers than those with a wife and family. Valentine, quite rightly so, thought this was very unfair, and continued to carry out marriages in secret. When Claudius found out Valentine was ordered to be put to death.
Other stories infer that Valentine was a soldier who helped Christians escape from Roman prisons, where they were tortured and generally mistreated. This charitable act earned him the death penalty.
Another legend tells that Valentine, imprisoned himself, was responsible for the very first “valentine” greeting. It took the form of a letter that he wrote to a young girl he fell in love with, possibly his jailer’s daughter. It’s claimed that he wrote her a letter before his death, and signed it “from your Valentine”. A greeting that is commonly used today.
The tales may be different but they all have a common thread. Valentine was renowned for being sympathetic, heroic and an important romantic figure.
The Pagan Festival of Lupercalia
Lupercalia was a pagan festival, celebrated on February 15th. The festival was a celebration of fertility, dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture,Faunus, as well as the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
An order of Roman priests, known as the Luperci, started the ceremony, when they gathered at a sacred cave, thought to be where Romulus and Remus were cared for by a female wolf. A goat would be sacrificed for fertility, and a dog for purification. The goat’s hide would be cut into strips, dipped in sacrificial blood and taken to the streets. The crop fields and the local women were slapped gently with the strips to make them more fertile in the coming 12 months. Later on in the day the young women of the city would put their names in a big urn. The bachelors of the city would then come along and pick out a name. He would then be paired with the woman he chose for the next year, and these liaisons often ended in marriage.
St Valentine’s Day – from Rome to Modern Day
At the end of the 5th century Lupercalia was outlawed, because it was thought to be “un-christian”. Pope Gelasius announced that February 14th would be St Valentine’s Day. It took a little while longer, before this day became associated with love. An idea which added to the idea that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance comes from Medieval France and England. It was thought that February 14th was the first day of the mating season for birds.
In the Middle Ages Valentine’s greetings were popular, but written Valentine’s didn’t come into use until after 1400. One of the oldest Valentine’s is still in existence today. It takes the form of a Valentine’s poem, written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415. He wrote the poem for his wife, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. Later in history it is thought that Henry V used the services of a writer, John Lydgate, when he needed a valentine note composed for Catherine of Valois.
Valentine’s Day became popular in the UK, round about the 17th century. By the mid 18th century it was common practise for friends and lovers to exchange tokens of affection, or notes written by hand. Advances in printing technology meant that by the 1900s printed cards were beginning to take the place of handwritten notes. Expressions of one’s feeling was discouraged at this time, so ready-made cards made emotional expression much easier. Cheap rates for sending letters and cards also helped to make the sending of Valentine’s greetings much more popular.
In America it is thought that the exchanging of hand-made Valentine’s began in the 1700s. The first mass-produced Valentine’s were sold in 1840 by a lady called Esther A Howland. They were quite elaborate affairs, made with ribbons, lace and colourful pictures.
Estimates from the Greeting Card Association put a figure of 1 billion, for the number of Valentine’s cards that are sent every year. And of those 1 billion, 85% of cards are bought by women. Here is Wikipedia’s take on Valentine’s Day – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine%27s_Day
Interesting Facts About St Valentine’s Day
- It was considered bad luck to sign an Valentine’s Day card in Victorian times
- 3% of pet owners give their pets a Valentine, according to retail statistics
- In Finland, Valentine’s Day is known as Ystävänpäivä, which means “friend’s day”, and there the tradition is more about remembering friends than loved ones.
- The x symbol, used to represent a kiss, is thought by some to originate from Medieval times, when people who couldn’t write signed their name with an “x”. This mark was then kissed to show sincerity.
- King Henry VII, declared February 14th the holiday of St Valentine’s Day, in 1537
- Chocolate was commonly prescribed by physicians in the 1800s, when a patient was pining for a lost love
- The first box of chocolates specially for Valentine’s Day was produced in the late 1800s by Richard Cadbury
- How many heart shaped boxes of chocolate get sold to give on Valentine’s Day? A whopping 35 million!
- Of all the flowers that get bought to give on Valentine’s Day, 73% are bought by men
- In the US, research has shown that 15% of women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day
- In the US alone, more than $1 billion dollars is spent on chocolate to give as a gift on Valentine’s Day
- 6 days before the big day, more than 50% of the card purchases are made – there’s nothing like leaving things till the last minute
- In the US, more than 189 million stems of roses are sold on this day of romance – there is no more special a Valentine’s gift for her than a single red rose
- Around 85% of all Valentine’s gifts are purchased by women
- Surprisingly, teachers receive the most cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts, then pets
- On average, 220,000 wedding proposals are made on this day every year
Valentine’s Day Celebrations Across the World
People celebrate Valentine’s Day all over the world. It’s day when sweethearts, lovers and special friends express their love for each other. The traditions and customs for this romantic day, do however vary.
Valentine’s Day in the US
Valentine’s Day in the US has become a very commercial event. Estimates are that this is the major US card and gift giving festival. Retailers start trimming up days before February 14th in an effort to lure in would-be present givers. Popular gifts include cards, flowers – particularly roses, chocolates, candles and jewellery. The US has taken the whole Valentine’s gift giving just a little further, with many schools organising Valentine’s Day programmes during which the school children perform songs, plays, skits and dance. Dinner and dance parties are organised all over the country, but many couples choose to hold their own private celebrations in their homes or at local restaurants.
Valentine’s Day in the UK
In the UK, Valentine’s Day is the romantic day of the year. The tradition of sending Valentine’s cards to your loved one is still celebrated, along with the tradition of sending anonymous messages of love. This practise is particularly popular in schools, when you send a Valentine’s card to someone you secretly admire, and it causes great amusement, trying to guess who the card is from. Valentine’s symbols include the obvious heart, but also doves and the winged angel Cupid. Some couples stick with the traditions gifts of flowers and chocolate, while others opt for more unusual gifts such as balloon rides, test driving a super car, or paint-balling.
Valentine’s Day in Canada
Canadians celebrate Valentine’s Day in pretty much the same way as other Western countries, but there is one place you can take your Valentine that is pretty spectacular. Niagara Falls is the perfect setting to enjoy candlelight dinners, overlooking the amazing sights of the Falls. Many people would argue that this spot is one of the iconic natural beauty spots, and it will certainly ignite your passion and sense of romance, with very little effort from you.
Valentine’s Day in Australia
Australia has been known to celebrate Valentine’s Day in quite an extravagant way, going back to the days of the gold rush. During this period in their history some of the gold miners became very wealthy and ordered gifts worth thousands of dollars. Some examples of gifts were satin cushions, scented and elaborately decorated with coloured shells and flowers. Some even added humming birds or birds of paradise that had been stuffed. Pretty gruesome really! Modern celebrations include the usual cards, flowers, chocolates and jewellery. The really modern generations use the good old mobile phone for sending text messages filled with sweet words of love. Recent surveys have uncovered a couple of surprising facts: Australian men are more romantic and open about expressing their love than their female counterparts, and buy more cards than women do.
Valentine’s Day in Japan
In Japan this day has taken a bit of a twist, with men receiving chocolates from women, rather than the other way around. The celebration is not just reserved for lovers, but male friends, colleagues, even the boss. There are different types of chocolate to signify the different relationships. No surprise to learn that the giving of chocolates was introduced in 1936 by a Kobe based confectioner. Various other chocolate companies have been responsible for marketing the concept of giving chocolates for Valentine’s, and they took it to it’s final stage by introducing “White Day”. One month after Valentine’s Japanese men show their feelings with a Valentine’s gift for her. It is called “White Day”, because white signifies purity, and white chocolate has become the popular gift of choice
Valentine’s Day in Ghana
“National Chocolate Day” was the name given to Valentine’s Day in Ghana, in 2007. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of cocoa. The move was made to highlight the importance of Ghana in world chocolate production. Backed by the country’s ministry of tourism, it includes museum exhibitions, and chocolate themed restaurant menus.
Valentine’s Day in the Philippines
A Valentine’s day tradition that is becoming more and more popular is the mass wedding celebration. Wedding days are normally reserved for one special couple, but in the Philippines, hundreds of couples are married in a joint ceremony. A bit of a twist on the whole Valentine’s day gifts for her idea.
Valentine’s Day in Argentina
One day isn’t enough for lovers who live in Argentina, they like to take a week celebrating Valentine’s. You’ll also need lots of Valentine gift ideas for her, because there are 7 days in July, 13th to 20th, that is called “sweetness week”. Friends and lovers exchange gifts of candles and kisses. The week of celebration ends with “friendship day”.
Valentine’s Day in Chile
Some call Chile the land of poets, but there’s one thing for certain Chileans love to be romantic. “Dia de San Valentin” is celebrated by couples with much excitement. Walking round the city, you can see all the shops decorated with flowers, balloons, chocolates and other Valentine’s day gifts for her.
Valentine’s Day in Slovenia
St Valentine or ‘Zdravko’, as he is known in Slovenia, is the patron saint of spring. It is considered an important day for starting work in the vineyards and fields. People from Slovenia also believe birds propose to their loved ones on this day, and get married – in other words it’s the start of their mating season. So in Slovenia, February is not really associated with romance and love but more of an agricultural festival. Love is celebrated more on Saint Gregory’s Day, March 12th. Other dates for love celebrations are St Vincent’s Day (February 22) and 13th June, Saint Anthony’s Day, their patron saint of love.
Make Her Smile With Great Valentine’s Gifts for Her
For all you husbands, boyfriends and lovers, finding great Valentine’s gifts for her can sometimes turn into quite a challenge. Is the woman in your life the sort of girl who will ponder the whole gift giving occasion for weeks before the day arrives? Try to second guess what they’re thinking about and hoping to receive can be a very disheartening task. Finding the best valentine gift for your wife will be less of a challenge, if you try and remember some details. In the weeks leading up to the special day, she will likely be dropping hints left, right and centre. She might casually mention a dazzling necklace she spotted last time she wandered down the high street, or keep some online shopping gift ideas in her ‘favourites’ list. Maybe she’s been hankering for a spa day, but always says she can’t afford it, or find the time. Keep your ear close to the ground, and you’re sure to pick up some pointers, if you listen carefully.
There are some more general ideas that we’ll happily share with you, if you’re looking for Valentine’s gifts for a girlfriend or your wife. Jewellery and jewellery boxes, cuddly toys, handbags, fresh flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine. For a more unusual twist on the gift of flowers, why not consider an Eternity Rose. Exquisitely crafted, these hand picked rose blooms have been dipped in a precious metal to make their beauty everlasting. These Valentine’s gift suggestions will work equally well for any other women in your life. Valentine’s Day is traditionally for lovers, but it’s also becoming synonymous with showing friends, family and teachers how much you care.
Special Love Quotes for Valentine’s Day
There are no end of quotes, poems and songs that can be used as part of a Valentine’s celebration. Whether you choose to write something in a card, send someone a letter, or even type an email. Here’s a few well chosen words to help you express your feelings for your significant other half.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you
Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey
There’s a long life ahead of you and it’s going to be beautiful, as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.
The best smell in the world is the man that you love
Love is when the desire to be desired takes you so badly that you feel you could die of it.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.
The Best Valentine’s Gift for a Wife is to Spend Some Time With Her
Are you one of those married couples that never seem to find the time to do things together? And we’re not referring to mundane daily chores such as shopping, or taking the kids to school. Daily life can be a bit of a grind, and it’s always the relationship that will suffer. Taking time out from your normal routine is vital to keeping your relationship fresh and new. Valentine’s Day only comes round once a year, so take the opportunity to take the day off and do something together.
Try Something a Bit Unconventional
Going out on a date is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your wife, but also with your girlfriend. Why not do something a little out of the ordinary, rather than going with the tried and tested chocolate, flowers and dinner date. Try out a new sport, some say that bowling can be fun, adding a little competition to the evening. You could try bungee jumping, parachuting, horse trekking or why not start a new hobby you can both share? Doing something you’ve both never done before will certainly make the day unique.
Give Your Loved One a Box of Dates
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only day you express your love for the woman in your life. So why not give her a whole box of Valentine’s dates. Throughout the year she can pick one out when she fancies doing something different. This way you’ll both get to enjoy your special day, at least once a week for the next 12 months.
We hope that each and every Valentine’s Day will be special for you and your partner.
And Here’s a Few comedy Valentines Day Videos to Lighten the load!
Happy Valentine’s Day to Everyone and Anyone who wants to Celebrate Their Love.