History of Valentine's Day – How It Came to Be

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Valentine’s Day on February 14 is, in some countries, the day of lovers. The traditions of this day go back to the story of one of several Christian martyrs named Valentine who, according to history, was martyred by beheading.

A memorial was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 469 AD but in 1969, it was omitted from the General Roman Calendar. However, there is still widespread celebration on Valentine’s Day around worship, in which couples ask for blessings.

This day eventually became popular in the west through trade in flowers and the heavy advertising of florists and candy makers.

The popularity of the date is based on a poem by the English writer Geoffrey Chaucer, “Parliament of Birds”. In 1383, probably on the occasion of Valentine’s Day celebration, it was completed and was first presented publicly at the court of King Richard II.

In the poem of Chaucer, it was described how the birds gather to dedicate this holiday to the goddess of Nature so that everyone finds a partner. Since the 15th Century in England, couples began sending small gifts or poems during this day. From then on, the combination of letters and flowers was imitated by the British.

English emigrants brought the custom of Valentine’s Day in the United States and so after the Second World War, the first “Valentine’s Ball” was held in Nuremberg in 1950 by U.S. soldiers. Valentine’s Day was generally accepted to be on the 14th so prior to February, there is an increased influx of florists and advertising of the confectionery industry.

There are now Valentine chocolates, Valentine cards and perfumes sold but the most popular gifts on February 14 are still flowers. While flowers are sold throughout the year, it is mostly men who buy flowers for women.

In Japan, women give chocolates to men on 14 February. Sometimes, women will postpone it a month later on White Day, with white chocolate as a present. Even young girls take this day as an opportunity to give chocolate to boys, which they carefully made themselves.

In South Korea, people celebrate White Day and the Black Day, in addition to Valentine’s Day. On the 14th of April, people eat Jajangmyeon which are noodles with black sauce. Also in South Korea, every 14th of the month has romantic connotations to it.

Today, even in the People’s Republic of China, younger generations enjoy this day as the western culture and lifestyle is increasingly becoming popular. In Brazil, Valentines is Celebrated on the 12th of June.


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