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Named after St. Valentine a catholic priest from around the 3rd century, Valentine’s Day has been the world over on February 14th every year. It is said that the priest would secretly marry off soldiers who were otherwise not allowed to, as they should be strictly and completely devoted to Rome. However, the priest was jailed for having gone against emperor Claudius. Even while in prison, he cared for his fellow peers and prisoners, including the blind daughter of the jailor. Apparently, the legend goes that her blindness was cured. And this is what prompted the beginning of the belief and importance of love, commemorated after St. Valentine’s acts. Eventually, he was executed on February 14th 270 AD, and his last written message to the girl would be signed off as, “From your Valentine”.
It was much later that poet Chaucer associated St. Valentine with romantic and courtly love. It was also the age where expressing love and admiration secretly to your partner was ritualistic. Stories grew about a High Court of Love, presided by women who ruled on issues related to love. This court came into being every February 14th. The culture of celebrating Valentine’s Day thus spread across Europe and in contemporary times, across countries and cultures, universally.
It is impossible to imagine Valentine’s Day gifts. A custom that began with St. Valentine sending a simple message is now executed in the form of gifts and flowers. Generally, beautiful red rose bouquets are sent by lovers to declare their affection. And in many cases, there are anniversary cakes shaped in the form of a heart. If you ask why the rose? The flower is an all-time favourite of the Goddess of Love, Venus, and symbolises some strong feelings.
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