Saint Valentines Day

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  1. 1. Saint Valentine's Day 5 4
  2. 2. Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day and its patron saint is shrouded in mystery.
  3. 4. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
  4. 5. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.
  5. 6. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
  6. 7. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
  7. 8. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl who may have been his jailor's daughter who visited him during his confinement.
  8. 9. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.
  9. 10. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
  10. 11. Early Valentine's Day Tradition in BritainUnmarried girls in Britain and Italy used to wake up before sunrise on Valentine's Day. They believed that the first man they see on Valentine's Day or someone who looks like him would marry them within a year. Girls, therefore, used to wake up early to stand by their window and wait for the man to pass.William Shakespeare,the famous English playwright, mentions this belief in Hamlet (1603). Ophelia, a woman in the play, sings: Good morrow! 'Tis St. Valentine's DayAll in the morning betime,And I a maid at your window,To be your valentine!
  11. 12. Valentines Day in Japan Valentine's Day is celebrated in an interesting manner on two different dates in the country of Japan. On February 14, female present gifts to their boyfriends or any man close to them. The favor is returned to ladies on theWhite Daycelebrated on March 14 when men pamper women who gave them gifts a month before on Valentines Day.
  12. 13. Tradition of Gifting Chocolates There is a strong tradition of women gifting chocolates to men on Valentines Day in Japan. It is seen that two types of chocolates are more popular for Valentine's Day. One type of chocolate calledgiri-chocois bought for friends, bosses, colleaguesand close male friends.Chocolates for boyfriends or husbands are special ones and are calledhon-mei.Many Japanese girls think that it is not true love if they buy Valentine's day chocolates for their boyfriend and hence honmei -choco is usually prepared by girls themselves.
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