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: 2016-10-24
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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.


1Saint Valentine

2Attested traditions


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


4.1.2Central and South America


4.2.1Similar Asian traditions

5Conflict with religious fundamentalists


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

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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