Origins and Traditions of Valentine's Day

ppruelStarred Page By ppruel, 14th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2etdls0j/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>Holidays & Celebrations

The coming of February 14, the world will celebrate Valentine's Day. However, the celebration is not only for Lovers Day as others call it but also it is the day to remember deaths, births and other remarkable events that are already written as history. This is my acknowledgment of Mark's Factual Article Challenge for Wikinut Writers.

Interesting incidents happened before and during Feb 14

In Saudi Arabia, during the year 2002, religious police banned the sale of all Valentine's Day items, telling shop workers to remove any red items, as the day is considered a Christian holiday. And in 2008, this ban created a black market of roses and wrapping paper.

In Pakistan, the Jamaat-e-Islami political party has called for the banning of the holiday. Despite this, the celebration is increasingly popular and the florists expect to sell great amount of flowers, especially red roses.

In Iran, the first part of the 21st century, the celebration of Valentine's Day has been harshly criticized by Islamic Teachers who see the celebrations as opposed to Islamic culture. In 2011, the Iranian printing works owners' union issued a directive banning the printing and distribution of any goods promoting the holiday, including cards, gifts and teddy bears.

While the Islamic officials in Malaysia warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day, linking it with vice activities. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the celebration of romantic love was "not suitable" for Muslims. On Valentine's Day 2011, Malaysian religious authorities arrested more than 100 Muslim couples concerning the celebration ban. Some of them would be charged in the Shariah Court for defying the department's ban against the celebration of Valentine's Day.

At least there are three Valentine involved

At least there are three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February.

The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna about AD 197 and was said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He was also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.

Saint Valentine's Day

The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, which is a half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers' tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the 14th and 15th centuries contain allusions to the practice.

Reason why Saint Valentine--the Priest was Executed

Saint Valentine was expounded in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St. Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed.

But before his execution, he was reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer. And it was believed that Valentine fell in love his jailor's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a letter, which he signed From your Valentine, an expression that is still in use today and tradition was born. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

Why Lupercalia is linked to Valentine's Day

According to popular modern sources link unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays alleged to be devoted to fertility and love to St. Valentine's Day, Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas argued that prior to Chaucer, no links between the Saints named Valentinus and romantic love existed. Earlier links as described above were focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love. In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning Juno the purifier or the chaste Juno, was celebrated on February 13–14. But Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia.

Valentine's Day in modern times

Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around 1.3 billion pounds are spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent.

Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-19th century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow. In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts in the United States. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.

Many ways to celebrate Valentine's Day

While sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts is traditional in the UK, Valentine's Day has various regional customs such as:

  • In Norfolk, a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person.
  • In Wales, many people celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen (St Dwynwen's Day) on January 25 instead of (or as well as) Valentine's Day. The day commemorates St Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers.
  • In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.
  • In Spain Valentine's Day is known as "San Valentín" and is celebrated the same way as in the UK, although in Catalonia it is largely superseded by similar festivities of rose and/or book giving on La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day).
  • In Portugal it is more commonly referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" (Lover's Day / Day of those that are in love with each other).

  • In Denmark and Norway, Valentine's Day (14 Feb) is known as Valentinsdag. It is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one.
  • In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts' Day") and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry's commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture.
  • In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's day". As the name indicates, this day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones.
  • In Estonia Valentine's Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning.
  • In Slovenia, a proverb says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots", so on February 14, plants and flowers start to grow. Valentine's Day has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day.

  • Another proverb says "Valentin – prvi spomladin" ("Valentine — first saint of spring"), as in some places (especially White Carniola) Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.
  • In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, which is celebrated on February 24. It is named after a character from Romanian folklore who was supposed to be the son of Baba Dochia. Part of his name is the word drag ("dear"), which can also be found in the word dragoste ("love").
  • In Lithuania and Latvia, it is common for people to put stickers on faces and clothing of a friend or a relative. The holiday was first celebrated after the two countries gained independence from Soviet Union in 1990.
  • Valentine's Day is called Ημέρα του Αγίου Βαλεντίνου in Greece and Cyprus, which translates into "St Valentines day".
  • In Philippines - Both private and government schools observe Valentine's Day from nursery, kindergarten, elementary, high schools, colleges and universities. The usual celebration of JS Prom in high school as part of tradition is usually fall in February 14. This is also common in other parts of the world. High school students will select from among them who will be their King and Queen.

February 14 is also about births, deaths and remarkable events

In 1852 February 14 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children was founded - the first hospital providing in-patient beds specifically for children in the English-speaking world, London. Despite opening with just 10 beds, it grew into the world's leading children's hospital through the patronage of Queen Victoria, counting Charles Dickens, a personal friend of Dr. West, the Chief Physician, as one of its first fundraisers.

In 1831 February 14 was the death of Henry Maudslay, who was a British machine tool innovator, tool and die maker, and inventor. He is considered a founding father of machine tool technology. It was Maudslay who built the lock that was displayed in Bramah’s shop window with a notice offering a reward of 200 guineas to anyone who could pick it. It resisted all efforts for forty-seven years. Maudslay designed and made a set of special tools and machines that allowed the lock to be made at an economic price.

Anna Howard Shaw was born on February 14, 1847. She had become a leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. She was also a physician and the first ordained female Methodist minister in the United States. Her birthday is celebrated as Anna Howard Shaw Day, as an alternative to St. Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day teaches people to become businessmen

As part of tradition - for business sectors around the world from chocolate factories down to card productions, rose productions, jewelry productions and other imaginable items for Valentine's day including Internet, Mobile companies, telephone companies, hotel owners, motel owners and other lover's inn owners, beaches owners, TV and Radio stations, malls, supermarkets, night clubs, cinema houses and other places where there are supplies and demands earn them thousands to millions of money. And Valentine's Day teaches people to become businessmen!

For more details about this subject you may check the following sources:

To read my previous article visit My Youth and Strength are Already Deteriorating

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Tags

Affection Day, Culture, February 14, Guides, Holiday, Holiday Activities, Holidays Celebrations, Lovers Day, Ppruel, Traditions, Valentines Day Special, Wikinut

Meet the author

author avatar ppruel
I am a web content creator, on-line marketer, products and services promoter, on-line writer and a Filipino blogger; I write about anything under the sun; making fun and socializing other Net users.

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author avatar ppruel
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Johnny. It took me four days to finish writing the piece. This is my first time to write a factual article where I used many sources. At Mark's page I left a message telling him I got one of the titles for his challenge though I forgot to tell what title. Now I can proceed replying comments here and visiting other Wikinut pages.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Simply wonderful..well done ppruel

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author avatar ppruel
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Ms. Delicia. Now I am waiting for the Moderators decision. Wish they will visit this page.

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author avatar Songbird B
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Ah ppuel, you have set me a fine challenge here as I am also doing Mark's challenge on this subject...I will see if I can find further information, and will also link this page to mine when mine is submitted.. Lovely article my friend..I can see I have my work cut out for me..lol

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author avatar ppruel
15th Jan 2012 (#)

I am so sorry Ms. Songbird - my friend. I never thought you already had claimed this title. It is my fault, I did not read all the comments found at Mark's page challenge. There is a way for this. I wish Johnny and Mark will read this message:

If possible I would request Johnny and Mark to delete this article from my Wikinut page...

This write-up has already spread across the Internet from stumbleupon, twitter, facebook, facebook groups, stumbler, dig, delicious, reddit and other bookmarking sites but I can still delete it from those sites. Again I am very sorry Ms. Songbird...

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author avatar Songbird B
15th Jan 2012 (#)

ppruel, there really is no need to delete because this is a fabulous article, and you can certainly see how much hard work has gone into it! I think you have done a fantastic job on this, and even taken it from angles that I hadn't looked at so it should be left on line...I will work mine around yours, and we can link the two..I loved this take on it and would be proud to link my work with yours..Please do not apologise or think of having it removed.. Congrats on a great Star Page my friend! Well deserved..\0/x

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Ms. Songbird. I am pleased for your idea and plan. Yes. I will wait yours and together we will rock the Net...hehehe. I can laugh now. Again thank you so much. See you around again.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Fantastic star page, one of the best I've ever read. Make no apologies - Songbird is delighted, I'm certain.

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Steve - your support and understanding inspire me much. Always...

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author avatar Denise O
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Also my friend, Mark and Johnny said they would take the 'first two' that claimed a subject. So I look forward to Songbirds as well. This is a well done page, all the way around. Just so full of information and well written. I must comment on the presentation once again, Just a beautiful page! There is no need in saying congrats on the star, it is a given. As soon as I opened your page. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Friend Denise, thank you for the info, your time and the kind words. Much appreciated. BTW, thank you also for the re-tweet you've done to one of my articles.

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author avatar Retired
15th Jan 2012 (#)

When love takes over its not insane,
To Give in to love is all but humane.
In secret he married off people with love,
Giving them blessings from Above.

Bringing together all tears of pain,
With all of the world together to gain.
Manny we beheaded, pulled the heart,
With tears of pain, when they did part.

Throwing to each other Adonis rose of love,
Just like he did to me from up Above.
For Who is like God does understand,
What it is like to go hand in hand.

Pulling together the world as one,
To bring the emotion of love under Sun.
For We are all worthy of that Greatest Love,
It starts first with Creation from up Above.

By Anisha Achankunju (C) 16th January 2012

What is ordained by the Above, let no mortal man put asunder. No one can stop the Wave of Love hitting the distant shore from that little ripple from far beyond.

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Lady - the poem is awesome and reminds me my past when I had thought to marry my half-life 25 years ago. Love reading it...see you around again.

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author avatar Retired
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

I did that 10 years ago today... Still married but not together. God Bless the two of you....

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author avatar Retired
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

24th january 2012

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author avatar Retired
15th Jan 2012 (#)

He married them off with the love of their life not let them elope together. Similar to a Gretna Green Marriage in Scotland.

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

hehehe. I liked your thought here. Thanks.

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author avatar Jules Castillo
16th Jan 2012 (#)

great!
this to me is a reminder. i am forgetting all these things,,

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Kabs Cowboy. Much appreciated - actually we cannot ignore them - they are part of tradition...hehehe.

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author avatar Buzz
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Wonderful Valentine STAR page, Paul. You're a Mr. Nice Guy on Wikinut.

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author avatar ppruel
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Hehehe. Jackie Chan! Thanks dude I am pleased.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
16th Jan 2012 (#)

What a gorgeous page. And a lovely star to go with it. Well done.

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author avatar ppruel
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Ms. Sheila - already smells valentine's day...

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author avatar krrymarie
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Lovely page well written. can see a lot of work has gone into this.
congratulations.
I still think Valentines day is so overrated though!

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author avatar ppruel
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Welcome Krrymarie - thanks for dropping by and your kind words I appreciated them...maybe because it is part of a long tradition... see you around again.

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
1st Feb 2012 (#)

wonderful research out there ppruel....

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