Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Image Source: By Chordboard - Self, from material in my possession., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4310843

1. In many countries couples can’t wait until February 14th-the day which is called after Saint Valentine’s name. In this day, most wedding proposals are made, thousands of love letters are sent, and people are looking for their “valentine”, their one and only true love.

2. The symbols of Saint Valentine’s Day are doves, heart-shaped outline and a figure of little baby angel with wings-Cupid. Cupid usually holds a bow with arrows that bring love to the hearts of people.

3. There were at least 14 people named Valentine who could have given the name to this holiday. They all were martyrs-people who were tortured and burned alive for their beliefs.

4. In Finland, February 14th is called “Friend’s Day” and friends, not lovers, are honored. Also in some Latin countries this day is for “love and friendship”.

5. Most popular present for St. Valentine’s Day is a heart-shaped chocolate. 

6. The custom dates back to the early Christian era when a cross mark or an 'X' conveyed the force of a sworn oath. The cross referred to both the cross of Calvary and the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, 'Xristos'. In days when few people could write, their signature cross, or 'X' was a legally valid mark. To emphasize their complete sincerity, they often kissed the 'X' when an oath was sworn upon it. It was this practice which led to its becoming the symbol of a kiss.

7. The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.

8. Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box in the late 1800s.

9. The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C

10. In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.

11. Casanova, well known as "The World's Greatest Lover," ate chocolate to make him virile.

12. The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

13. The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife.

14. A love knot is a symbol of undying love, as its twisting loops have no beginning and no end. In the past, they were made of ribbon or drawn on paper to prove one's eternal love.

15. Valentine’s Day is named after a Roman martyr named Valentine. Actually, there are two Valentines in the history of Roman martyrs. One was a Christian priest, who lived around 300 AD. He had been thrown in prison for his teachings, and for refusing to worship the Roman gods. He also supposedly cured the jailer’s daughter of her blindness. On February 14, this Valentine was beheaded. As the story goes, the night before he was executed, he wrote the jailer’s daughter a farewell letter, signing it, “From Your Valentine.”

16. The other Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time. It is believed that he was imprisoned because he secretly married couples, contrary to the laws of the Roman emperor. Young men were forbidden to marry until they had served as soldiers. This Valentine was also reportedly beheaded, becoming a martyr for the cause of love.

17. 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 town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.

18. Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

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