WATC presents – History of Valentine’s Day

Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world.

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St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church.

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Valentine’s Day is now all about Cards, chocolates and flowers. The chocolate tradition originates from Richard Cadbury who produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s, now over 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every year around Valentine’s Day.

Roses are another Valentine’s Day tradition, this is because the red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, now approximately 189 million stems of roses are sold on Valentine’s Day and around 110 million roses will be sold and delivered in the three day Valentine’s Day time period.

Greeting cards are very traditional over Valentine’s Day. Around 145 Million Valentines cards are sent each year and 85% of them are purchased by women.

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