Valentine’s Day, which is also known as the St. Valentine’s Festival, is celebrated in many countries around the world on February 14, but in most countries it is not considered a public holiday.
Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more of the early Christian saints, namely Valentinus. Saint Valentine of Rome was sentenced and jailed for carrying out the marriage confirmation of soldiers (who were forbidden to marry) and for the ministry of Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, he cured the daughter of his jailer – Asterius – during his imprisonment. As a farewell, before his execution, he wrote her a letter and signed it as “Your Valentine”.
Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages in the circles of Geoffrey Chaucer, when the tradition of courtship flourished. In the 18th century, Valentine’s Day in England developed into an occasion in which loved ones declared their love for each other through flowers, treats and sending greeting cards. In Europe, loved ones gave Saint Valentine’s Keys to each other “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”. It is a tradition that is still strongly followed today.
Some feel that Valentine’s Day is just a money-making gimmick, and others think it’s really special to be spoiled by a large bunch of flowers, chocolates and a romantic candlelit dinner by your Valentine.
(I have to say, I will be able to get used to it too!)