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Valentine\'s Day ()
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Valentine's Day

 

 

 

Traditional symbols of Valentine's Day include hearts, doves, Cupid and

love notes.

 

American postcard, circa 1900.

 

Also called St. Valentine's Day

 

Observed by Christian and Christian-influenced cultures

 

Type Christian, cultural, multinational

 

Significance Lovers express their feelings to each other

 

Date February 14

 

Observances Sending greeting cards and gifts, dating.

 

 

 

Contents

 

1Saint Valentine

 

2Attested traditions

 

2.1Lupercalia

 

2.2Chaucer's love birds

 

2.3Medieval period and the English Renaissance

 

2.4Modern times

 

3Antique and vintage Valentines, 18501950

 

3.1Valentines of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries

 

3.2Postcards, "pop-ups", and mechanical Valentines, circa 1900-1930

 

3.3Black Americana and children's Valentines

 

4Similar days honoring love

 

4.1In the West

 

4.1.1Europe

 

4.1.2Central and South America

 

4.2Asia

 

4.2.1Similar Asian traditions

 

5Conflict with religious fundamentalists

 

5.1India

 

5.2The Middle East

 

6See also

 

7References Valentine's DayorSaint Valentine's Dayis

aholidaycelebrated onFebruary 14by many people throughout the world.

In the English-speaking countries, it is the traditional day on which

lovers express their love for each other by sendingValentine's

cards,presenting flowers, or offeringconfectionery. The holiday is

named after two among the numerous Early

ChristianmartyrsnamedValentine. The day became associated

withromantic lovein the circle ofGeoffrey Chaucerin theHigh Middle

Ages, when the tradition ofcourtly loveflourished.

 

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love

notes in the form of "valentines". Modern Valentine symbols include the

heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the wingedCupid. Since

the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to

mass-producedgreeting cards.The sending of Valentines was a fashion in

nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed

a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with

hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of

Valentine cards in 19th century America, where many Valentine cards are

now general greeting cards rather than declarations of love, was a

harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United

States.

 

The U.S.Greeting Card Associationestimates that approximately one

billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the

second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behindChristmas. The

association estimates that, in the US, men spend on average twice as

much money as women.

 

Saint Valentine

 

Numerous early Christian martyrs were namedValentine.Until 1969, the

Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine's Days.The

Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus

presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m.

Romae).Valentine of Romewas a priest inRomewho suffered martyrdom

about AD 269 and was buried on theVia Flaminia. His relics are at the

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