Monday, January 28, 2008

What is Valentine's Day. Find Out

Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates the beauty of love. A day when couples celebrate the joy of being in love. In a world marked by breaking families and relationships, this day assumes greater significance as couples endeavor to forget hurts and focus on the joys of being together.

The origin of Valentine’s Day dates back to the Roman Emperor Claudius II. He was involved in many military campaigns and was finding it difficult to recruit soldiers to his army. He believed that this was because the men were too attached to their families and sweethearts.

Emperor Claudius II then took the extreme step of canceling all marriages and engagements in his kingdom. He ordered that young men in his kingdom remain single. However, the priest Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies. When this reached the ears of Emperor Claudius, he was furious. Valentine was arrested, thrown in jail and sentenced to death. Just the evening before he was to be executed, he wrote the first Valentine himself addressed to a young girl, a jailer's daughter whom he had befriended. The note read `From your Valentine`. This is where the custom of exchanging love messages o Valentine’s Day came from. He was martyred on February 14 and this day is celebrated to honor the spirit of love.

There are some interesting customs and beliefs associated with Valentine’s Day. In some countries, if a woman sees a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it means that she will marry a sailor. If she sees a sparrow, she will marry a poor man and be very happy. However, if she sees a goldfinch, she will marry a millionaire In Wales, wooden love spoons are carved and gifted On Valentine’s Day. Hearts, keys and keyholes are the most popular decorations on the spoons and mean `You unlock my heart!`

The term `wearing the heart on the sleeve` originated from a Valentine custom dating back to the Middle Ages. Young men and women would draw names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be and these names would be worn on their sleeves for a week.

In some countries, a young woman receives apparel as a gift from a young man and this is akin to a marriage proposal. If she keeps it, this will be taken to mean she will marry him.

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated the world over by couples exchanging cards and gifts. Special lines of Valentine gifts with Valentine hearts and other romantic gifts overflow on the racks of stores. The festival has grown to be a giant celebration of love and romance and couples loves to show the world how much in love they are. And many couples who have been dating each other take this opportunity to pop te question or get married.

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