Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by 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 sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished."
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 winged
Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting
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. It's
"The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend on average twice as much money as women."
A day for exchangeing tokens of affection.
Central and South America
In Guatemala and in El Salvador, Valentine's Day is known as "Día del Amor y la Amistad" (Day of Love and Friendship). Although it is similar to the United States' version in many ways, it is also common to see people do "acts of appreciation" for their friends.
In Brazil, the Dia dos Namorados (lit. "Day of the Enamored", or "Boyfriends'/Girlfriends' Day") is celebrated on June 12, when couples exchange gifts, chocolates, cards and flower bouquets. This day was chosen probably because it is the day before the Festa junina’s Saint Anthony's day, known there as the marriage saint, when traditionally many single women perform popular rituals, called simpatias, in order to find a good husband or boyfriend.
The reinvention of Saint Valentine's Day in the 1840s has been traced by Leigh Eric Schmidt. As a writer in Graham's American Monthly observed in 1849, "Saint Valentine's Day... is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday." In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received, so clearly the practice of sending Valentine's cards had existed in England before it became popular in North America. The English practice of sending Valentine's cards appears in Elizabeth Gaskell's Mr. Harrison's Confessions (published 1851). Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary." The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The mid-nineteenth century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts in the United States, usually from a man to a woman. 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. The day has come to be associated with a generic platonic greeting of "Happy Valentine's Day." As a joke, Valentine's Day is also referred to as "Singles Awareness Day." In some North American elementary schools, children decorate classrooms, exchange cards, and eat sweets. The greeting cards of these students often mention what they appreciate about each other.
The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine's Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards.
See Valentines Day E-Greetings
Valentine's Day is here... the day when all you people around want to express your love and innermost feelings to all your loved ones. Here we are with the apt words to shape up your unspoken words... and these warm Valentine's Day wishes are just a click away from you. Personalize the ecards and send them to your family/ friends/ colleagues/ spouse to let them know how special they are for you.
• The name Valentine comes from the Latin word valor, meaning worthy.
• The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas.
• The Greeting Card Association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
• The association of the middle of February with love and fertility dates to ancient times.
• The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.
• On the liturical calendar, May 2 is the saints' day for Valentine of Genoa. This St. Valentine was an early bishop of Genoa who died around AD 307.
• In medieval England and France, it was common for lovers to exchange notes on this day and to call each other their "valentines".
• Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century by British settlers.
• In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.
• In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manners of gifts in the United States, usually from a man to a woman. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates.
You may also want to research:
• White Day (March 14) - similar to Valentine's Day.
• Black Day (April 14) - celebration day for single people.
• Sailor's Valentines
• Vinegar valentines