Each of us dreams of love – pure, beautiful and eternal and every lonely person on Valentines Day hopes – suddenly, today, a meeting with the long – awaited half will happen and those who already have a couple are waiting for romantic and beautiful confessions from their lover.Valentine’s day is the day of love. More than any other day of the year, romantic couples shower their better half with gifts and tokens of appreciation. Much about Valentine’s Day is well known. The handwritten cards, chocolate hearts, and red roses are all staples of the annual tradition, recognized easily at any convenience store. However, much about the holiday and how it came to be remains a mystery, details lost to time and transformed as romantic retold history.
How to celebrate
Today, most lovebirds exchange gifts like candy, jewelry, flowers, and cards on Valentine’s Day. The first Valentine's Day card dates to 1415 when the Duke of Orléans sent a card to his wife while he was he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. In the United States, Valentine’s Day cards didn’t gain popularity until the Revolutionary War, when people took up the habit of writing handwritten notes to their sweethearts. It was only in the early 1900s that cards were mass produced for the holiday. Although gaining global popularity, Valentine’s Day is still not widely celebrated in countries like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. In most of those countries the holiday contradicts aspects of their religion. However, some countries resist Valentine’s Day for political reasons. In India, some conservative political parties oppose Valentine’s Day because they believe the holiday promotes Western values. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not (by choice, fate, or otherwise), our ability to love has connected humans for centuries—from the Romans to today. Sure we may no longer whip each other with sacrificial hides, but we all enjoy treating (and being treated by) those we love.
Valentine's day facts
- Around 70 percent of Americans will give someone chocolate or candy on February, 14
- ”Be Mine”: The first candy sweetheart was made in the mid-1800s.
- About 144 million cards are exchanged on Valentine's Day, second only to Christmas.
Six Surprising Facts About St. Valentine
1. The St. Valentine who inspired the holiday may have been two different men.
Officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. Because of the similarities of these accounts, it’s thought they may refer to the same person. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints.
2. In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope.
The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who traveled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonized Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.
3. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things.
Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.
4. You can find Valentine’s skull in Rome.
The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You’ll find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
5. Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day.
The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention. The poem refers to February 14 as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate. When Chaucer wrote, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he may have invented the holiday we know today.
6. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year.
Because of the abundance of St. Valentines on the Roman Catholic roster, you can choose to celebrate the saint multiple times each year. Besides February 14, you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or maybe you want to get a jump on the traditional Valentine celebration by feting St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. Women might choose to honor the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.
Customs on Valentine's Day
There is such an interesting custom: going to bed from February 13 to February 14, you need to make a marriage and write on a piece of paper what kind of husband you dream of. Roll the leaf into a tube and wrap it in a silk rag (preferably a new one), put it under the pillow and don’t talk with anyone before going to bed - the future chosen one will definitely come to you in a dream and maybe even tell you where your meeting will take place. It is advisable to tidy the leaf in a secluded place, and not touch it all year. And if the meeting happens, it is better to burn a leaf with a desire, so that the chosen one will not hear about him in any case.
The most famous and revered custom on Valentine's Day is, of course, to give Valentine cards. Small bright hearts express the most sincere and bright feelings, and if you want to win the heart of a person you like, then make such a heart with your own hands from paper or fabric, stitching a cute elegant pillow. Confession in verses can also be composed independently, the main thing is that the words are sincere, and it is not necessary to come up with a poem - the chosen one will appreciate your efforts if you can convey your feelings.
It is also customary to bake cookies in the form of small hearts, in some of which coins are put, and some cookies can be salted with all their heart. After that you need to indulge guests with this treat, and those who get cookies with a coin, or salty ones, will certainly expect luck in love affairs or an early marriage.On this day, everyone remembers the tradition of giving sweet gifts: heart-shaped cakes, boxes of chocolates (in which you can also put cute valentines, or even jewelry), balloons with romantic inscriptions, cakes or marshmallows.
This amazing holiday does not do without flowers: give roses - the beloved will understand your feelings without words, and if you hand timid violets or lilies of the valley, then the heart of the most impregnable beauty will melt immediately. Tulips will tell you about the most sincere intentions, and if you decide to give orchids or lilies, you can buy a wedding ring along the way, since even a nun will not resist such a gift.You can trust this belief: buy a bouquet of your favorite flowers, go to the river or lake and throw one at a time into the water (or onto ice, if you do not have an open reservoir in the area). Throwing in a whisper, utter all your desires. It is important that no one bothers you, then all your dreams will soon come true.
Signs on Valentine's Day
From the morning of February 14, young girls went outside and looked at the sky: if you saw many, many birds, then this year there will be enough boyfriends, if you saw a tit among the fluttering birds, the future husband will be frivolous, but kind; if he met sparrows, the hubby will not be rich, although he will work. Well, if a girl sees a kite or an eagle, then the husband will be handsome, but sometimes he will walk to the side.The girls preferred not to notice the ravens - it is believed that if the first to see a black bird, then the husband will be very influential, but tough and strong-willed. A bullfinch is considered a bird that brings luck - if a girl sees him, she can hope that the young and handsome prince is already around the corner and waiting for her on his snow-white horse. And if you are suddenly lucky enough to see pigeons, then the joy promises to be endless - a good and rich husband, beautiful healthy children and a wonderful life await the girl.
There is a sign related to animals: if you suddenly meet a dog and begin to sniff your shoes, then your husband will be faithful and faithful, although a little henpecked. But if you meet a cat, then your beloved will be frivolous.
Some girls believe in such a sign: to ask the name of the first man who met on the way (no matter what age he will be) - both the man will be called and the future spouse will be called, but if the uncle is silent in response, then marriage will not be soon. If a man will not go alone, but with a lady, then asking a name is undesirable, since not all women are delighted with this holiday and may misunderstand you.
There is such a sign: if in the morning on February 14 you left the house and met a woman carrying a baby in a stroller, then this year you are sure to be replenished in the family, or a meeting with the only one you have been waiting for so long. Well, if there are two or even three children, then you can’t hide from a successful marriage, and you can run to the wedding salon and choose a chic outfit.
Some believe in the following sign: if a man calls first, then a confession of love awaits you soon, but if a friend or girlfriend decides to congratulate you first, the meeting with the other half will be postponed for another year.
Try to spend this holiday in a good and good mood, and most importantly, believe in love and a miracle. And it doesn’t matter whether you are single or paired - just be happy, no matter what, and on Valentine's Day a kind and magical fairy tale will surely happen in which you will play the main role.
Valentine's Day in the world
In Italy, where, according to one legend, Valentine's Day begins, February 14 is called a “sweet” day. From the name of the holiday it is clear that the main gifts are all kinds of sweets, cookies and chocolates in the shape of a heart.
The tradition to give your sweetheart something sweet is in America. Americans on Valentine's Day congratulate not only those with whom they are in a romantic relationship, but also everyone they just love.
The British congratulate loved ones and pets - horses, cats, dogs. Sweets in the form of hearts, soft toys, especially Teddy cubs, and invariable valentine cards are considered popular gifts on February 14 in England. According to the rules, this valentine should be anonymous: it should be written with the left hand or from right to left so that the addressee does not recognize the handwriting. By the way, the English from the 15th century began to consider Valentine's Day as a great opportunity for a written declaration of love, and in 1820 a special issue began holiday cards. In England, there is a sign: whoever the girl first sees on this day, that will become her narrowed. Therefore, a girl who already has a lover had to behave very carefully.
Wales is famous for the so-called "spoons of love." Before the holiday, lovers cut a spoon from a tree, decorate it with hearts, keys and keyholes and give each other. Such a gift literally means: “You have found the way to my heart.”
In Holland on February 14 it is not considered shameful if a woman herself approaches a man and politely asks him to marry her. In case of refusal, the man should give the lady a dress, preferably silk.
In France, where valentines were first introduced, in addition to greeting cards, they also give linen, chocolate mousses, sweets, romantic trips, “happy” lottery tickets, heart-cut sausages, pink yoghurts, artificial flowers saying something like “I will love you forever!". Also, Valentine's Day is considered the most successful for the marriage proposal. A red (blue, white, blue) box with the so-called engagement ring is stretched under champagne and sweetheart dessert.
In some countries, there is a belief that if on Valentine's Day a girl saw a robin, then she will marry a sailor. If the girl saw a sparrow, then it was believed that she would marry the poor man, but she would be happy with him. And if the girl saw the carduelis, she will marry a millionaire.
A celebration of love is wonderful. But not loud, pathos, celebrated almost according to a single scenario from a day nursery to offices, but a chamber festival of loving people, allowing us to remember that we are not only parents, children, responsible workers, pastors and parishioners, but also just men and women , loving and beloved. Happy Valentine's Day!
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