10 Things You Probably Didn't
Know About Valentine's Day
The fourteenth of February is the day in which love and romance is celebrated in many parts of the world. It is the second largest event for sending greetings cards after Christmas and becoming more and popular as a gift giving occasion.
St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world, from the US to Japan, and from Europe to South America.
- Saint Valentine himself, like so many saints whose days are celebrated, is shrouded in mystery; he may have been a Christian martyr who, having restored his jailer’s daughter‘s sight, fell in love with her and sent her a note before his execution signed ‘from your Valentine'. In fact there are many martyrs called Valentine
Image Credit: Laura Ockel
- Another suggestion about St. Valentine's origin is that he was a man who helped to arrange marriages at a time when they were banned for Roman soldiers. If a soldier married he would not have to go to war. Most of the legends about St. Valentine appeared hundreds of years after the events would have occurred and so are unlikely to be true.
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- What is more likely to be true is that these legends became mixed up with pagan fertility festivals taking place in February and were adopted by the church to remove the paganistic aspects of the celebrations.
Image Credit: Annie Spratt
- St. Valentine is also the Patron Saint of bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, plague, travellers and young people.
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- Valentine, Texas sounds like it ought to be the most romantic town in the world. However it has fewer than 200 residents and is so named because it was founded on 14th February 1882 by a Southern Pacific Railroad construction crew.
Image Credit: Sagradart
- Red Roses have been the symbol of romantic love for centuries, and St. Valentine is usually represented in religious paintings with birds and roses. If you are lucky enough to recieve this traditional gift, you will want them to last so here is some advice from Interflora on how to care for cut roses.
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- In 1988 the first ever Red Nose Day Comic Relief event was held on Friday 5 February. Due to it's proximity to Valentine's Day, some enterprising people bought up 12 noses at a time so that they could give their loved ones a dozen red noses. This lead to some shops selling out of noses, at least they did near to where I was living at the time! Red Nose Day has since moved to mid-March.
Image Credit: Alfonso Lima
- In Brazil Valentine's Day is celebrated as Dia dos Namorados or 'Lovers Day' on 12th June. This is because 14th February is close to Carnival and so they are celebrating anyway. Sounds like a great excuse for an extra party! Here is how you can make your own mask for carnival.
- The tiny post office in the village of Lover, in Wiltshire has for 100 years recieved 1000's of Valentines Cards which it has sent on with a special heart-shaped postmark bearing the name lover. Sadly it was reported in late 2007 that the post office was to be closed.
- According to the Flowers & Plants Association for St. Valentine's Day, British people spend around £30 million on flowers and plants, 99% of which is spent on flowers. Well over 9 million red roses are given in the UK.
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