Valentine's Day is a popular annual holiday celebrated on the 14th of February. On this day people show their love for one another. This tradition began about 300 years ago in England. Today it is celebrated all around the world. Lovers will send a Valentine's card or note to their partner, as well as a small gift such as chocolates or flowers. Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year!
Valentine's Day is named after Saint Valentine, but we don't actually know who Saint Valentine was! One theory is that Saint Valentine was a priest in Roman times called Valentine, who was thrown in jail for disagreeing with a Roman Emperor. While he was in jail he fell in love with his jailer's daughter. Before he was executed he sent a note to his beloved - and signed it From your Valentine. Could this have been the first Valentine's Day card? This expression is still used today in Valentine's cards. Many people believe, however, that this is a story created more recently to make Valentine's Day more popular.
An early Valentine's card
It wasn't until about 300 years ago that people in Great Britain began to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day. Young people used to exchange hand written notes or romantic poetry. These notes were sent to lovers or just good friends. Over time hand written notes and poems were replaced by mass produced greeting cards. Often these cards are sent by people anonymously.
The red rose - a symbol of Valentine's Day
Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in many parts of the world. It is the second most popular time of the year to send greeting cards. It is estimated than about 1 billion cards are sent each year! Only Christmas time is more popular for sending cards. As well as cards people send red roses, chocolates, candy or even diamonds! In schools it is common for students to send hand made cards to each other. Cupid, the god of desire, is the icon of Valentine's Day. Cupid is said to shoot couples with his bow and arrow to fill them with desire for each other. Will you be hit by Cupid's arrow on Valentine's Day this year?
To find out more about Valentine's Day visit History.com
Now try our Valentine's Day quiz!
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