dissabte, 14 de febrer de 2009

Valentine's Day History

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.

Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".


Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him.


Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They
went singing from home to home. One verse they sang was:

Good morning to you, valentine;

Curl your locks as I do mine

---Two before and three behind.

Good morning to you, valentine.


In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys andkeyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"


In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.