Open your heart to learn about a lovely day.
Roses are on the street. Music is playing softly. Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is here. The sweet day is a chance to express your love to the people you care about. Keep reading to learn 6 things you would love to know about Valentine’s Day.
1. The real Valentine
There are many stories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. One story says that there was a man named St. Valentine who used to perform marriages illegally in the third century in Rome. Back then, Emperor Claudius banned marriage because he thought it would distract young soldiers. Eventually, Valentine was caught and sentenced to death on February 14.
Another legend says that Valentine was helping Christians escape from prison before getting caught. While he was in prison, he sent the first “Valentine” message and signed it with the famous phrase “from your Valentine.” No one knows the exact story. However, we know one thing for sure. Valentine’s Day took its name from St. Valentine.
2. Language of flowers
Have you ever given your loved one a flower on Valentine’s Day? Exchanging Flowers is a symbol of the special day. However, flowers only became popular on Valentine’s Day in the 17th century. This practice may have started with King Charles II of Sweden when he learned the “language of flowers”. The Language of Flowers is a way of communication through the arrangement of flowers. Charles II learned this language in Persia and then introduced it to Europe. The red rose became the center piece of Valentine’s Day as it symbolizes deep love.
3. The first heart-shaped chocolate
Valentine’s Day is a sweet day. Heart-shaped chocolate is another symbol of Valentine’s Day. The confectionery was first introduced by Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury. Richard created the first heart-shaped box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day as he wanted to increase sales. Today, more than 36 million boxes of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold every year!
4. In Latin America, it’s about more than just couples
In most western countries, Valentine’s Day is about romance and couples. While in many Latin American countries, February 14 is about more than just romance. The charming day is called día de los enamorados (day of lovers) or día del amor y la amistad (day of love and friendship). People give gifts to their buddies and celebrate friendship. In Colombia, for example, friends send secret friendship letters called “amigos secretos” which is similar to Secret Santa tradition.
5. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is just for men!
In Japan, it’s common for women to send gifts and sweets to their male lovers. Most women tend to give men chocolate as it represents true feelings. Sending chocolate can be a complicated process in Japan. There are two types of chocolate that women give on V-Day. The first type is called “giri-choco” which is quick ready-made chocolates. Women give these chocolates to their friends and family. The second type of chocolate is called Honmei-choco which is given to the lovers or romantic partners. One month later, roles get reversed. Men, who receive chocolate and gifts on Valentine’s Day, return the favor by giving gifts and sweets to the women on March 14. This day is called the “white day.”
6. In Romania, people celebrate love TWICE!
Many countries celebrate Valentine’s Day once. Not in Romania though. Romanians celebrate love and romance TWICE in February. The first one is on February 14 (on international Valentine’s Day), while the second one is on February 24. On that day, people celebrate the traditional lovers’ day which is called “Dragobete”. Dragobete is the guardian of love in Romanian myths. In the past ages, girls and boys used to collect flowers on that day to make magic potions!
What about you? Tell us how you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country.