Who knows what the facts about Valentines Day might be? Valentines Day is bound up in legends and myths but is celebrated around the world with the same intent of romantic love blended with local customs.
How To Celebrate Valentines Day
The common facts about Valentines Day celebrations in all countries, are that on this day of Love, couples exchange gifts, mostly of chocolate, flowers and greeting cards and will enjoy a lovely romantic dinner.
Naturally, this day is promoted widely by retailers and in South Korea, 50% of chocolate sales occurs on this day. In the early 1900's this day was cynically called Hallmark's Day, Hallmark being the leading manufacturer of greeting cards in the US and Europe.
Prices go through the roof for chocolates and flowers especially red roses, the most popular gift. Retailers now promote the exchange of other gifts and you'll see advertised not just jewelry but also Kindles and iPads!
A meal at a restaurant will have to be booked weeks if not months ahead to secure a seat and expect to pay a premium. Some restaurants are so fully booked, couples are packed "bench" style, which is not exactly conducive to a romantic evening, don't you agree.
Many lovers will enjoy their delightful dinner in the privacy of their home. In these modern times of busy working lives, be sure to select delicious yet easy recipes for dinner and dessert. Prepare the meal with love and best of all, spend the time cooking together.
Most of us are familiar with the legends and facts about Valentines Day being linked to the martyred Roman priests whose names were Valentinus or Valentine and interestingly, reliable sites like wikipedia, suggest that medieval records have at least 3 of these saints, being martyred on a February 14.
Ancient Pagan Feast of Lupercalia
Legend has it that this ancient Roman festival observed between February 13 - 15, celebrated the rites of fertility. There was also a more general festival of Juno Februa, in honor of the "Chaste Juno" or "Juno the Purifier". The facts are, when Christianity became the dominant religion, Pope Gelasius (492 - 496 AD) abolished this rite of Lupercalia.
One of the traditions of Lupercalia was for single men and women to write their names down and place them in a large jar. Couples were formed by picking names out of the jar at random. It seems that the current practice of sending greeting cards may have arisen from this rite at Lupercalia.
While this is rite is documented in an 18th Century book "Lives of Principal Saints", it would seem these may be unverified facts. Understandably, this practice was not condoned by local priests and recorded facts show that in 1600 a priest Frances de Sala replaced this rite with girls drawing names of apostles at the Church altar.
1300's First Association With Romantic Love
Aha...here are first recorded facts in 1382. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote:
For this was
on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
"For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."
It seems in medieval times February 14 was the date birds were
said to start mating and that may be the association with Valentines
Celebration Around The World
This is the second most celebrated holiday in the World after New Years Day! It is no wonder retailers are so keen on promoting this holiday.
The holiday has been blended in with local customs and in the Far East it is celebrated on 2 different days a month apart. Click on the button to read more about how the Valentines Day Holiday is celebrated around the World.