St. Valentine's Day

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History of St. Valentine's Day

St Valentine's Day was supposedly started in the time of the Roman Empire. In Ancient Rome, the date of February 14 was a holiday to honor the Queen of Roman Goddesses and Gods, Juno. Juno was known as the Goddess of women and marriage. The next day February 15 was the first day of the Festival known as the Feast of Lupercia.

On February 14 is was said that the young boys and girls of the villages would write down the names of every girl and place these names in a jar of which each young man would have to draw a name of a girl and this particular maiden would be their partner for the duration of the festival. Sometimes these parings would last a year and end up in marriage.

These rituals under the laws of Claudius were banned as the Emperor believed that the reasons why men would now go to war were because they did not want to leave their lovers or families. As a result all marriages and engagements were canceled as a result Saint Valentine a Roman priest was said to have married these couples in secret and for this he was executed on the 14th day of February.

While St Valentine was in jail it is said that he fell in love with the jailers’ daughter. By a miracle or some say by the prayers of Valentine she gained her sight and as a last farewell in a note he was to "From Your Valentine".

Another story as to the origins of Valentine's Day was that he was a priest who was also a physician and would cure the sick. He was also said to have tried to cure the jailers blind daughter, but, was arrested and on the day of his execution he wrote a note as a final farewell saying "From your Valentine" which some say is what caused her to gain her sight. It is also said whilst he was in jail awaiting execution that he was sent little notes and flowers from the children whom he had helped when they were sick. This also may have been one of the reasons why he sent a farewell note to the jailers’ daughter and why we send valentines. St Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 of each year; the reason why it is celebrated on this day is because this was the day that the Patron Saint of Lovers "St Valentine" was supposedly executed on. On this day lovers all around the world mark this occasion as a day for sending poems, cards, flowers or candy, etc. They might also be a social gathering or ball to mark the occasion.


How I Love You is said in Different Languages

  • Bulgarian: Obicham te
  • Burmese: chit pa de
  • Cambodian: Bon sro lanh oon
  • Cambodian: kh_nhaum soro_lahn nhee_ah
  • Canadian French: Sh'teme
  • Cantonese: Moi oiy neya
  • Cantonese: Ngo oi ney
  • Croatian: LJUBim te
  • Danish: Jeg elsker dig
  • Dutch: Ik hou van jou
  • Dutch: Ik ben verliefd op je
  • Filipino: Mahal ka ta
  • Filipino: Iniibig Kita
  • Finnish: Mina" rakastan sinua
  • French: Je t'aime
  • French: Je t'adore
  • Gaelic: Ta gra agam ort
  • German: Ich liebe Dich
  • Greek: s'ayapo
  • Greek (old): (Ego) philo su
  • Hungarian: Szeretlek
  • Hungarian: Szeretlek te'ged
  • Indonesian: Saya cinta padamu
  • Indonesian: Saya cinta kamu
  • Indonesian: Saya kasih saudari
  • Iranian: Mahn doostaht doh-rahm
  • Irish: taim i' ngra leat
  • Italian: ti amo
  • Italian: ti voglio bene
  • Japanese: Kimi o ai shiteru
  • Japanese: Aishiteru
  • Japanese: Chuu shiteyo
  • Japanese: Ora omee no koto ga suki da
  • Japanese: Ore wa omae ga suki da
  • Japanese: Suitonnen
  • Japanese: Sukiyanen
  • Japanese: Sukiyo
  • Japanese: Watashi Wa Anata Ga Suki Desu
  • Japanese: Watashi Wa Anata Wo Aishithe Imasu
  • Japanese: Watakushi-wa anata-wo ai shimasu
  • Japanese: Suki desu
  • Romanian: Te iu besc
  • Romanian: Te Ador
  • Russian: Ya vas liubliu
  • Russian: Ya tebya liubliu
  • Scot Gaelic: Tha gra\dh agam ort
  • Serbian: ljubim te
  • Spanish: Te quiero
  • Spanish: Te amo
  • Swedish: Jag a"lskar dig
  • Swiss-German: Ch'ha di ga"rn
  • Thai: Khao Raak Thoe
  • Thai: Phom Rak Khun
  • Vietnamese: Em ye^u anh
  • Vietnamese: Toi yeu em
  • Vietnamese: Anh ye^u em
  • Welsh: 'Rwy'n dy garu di.
  • Welsh: Yr wyf i yn dy garu di (chwi)
  • Yiddish: Ich libe dich
  • Yiddish: Ich han dich lib
  • Yiddish: Ikh Hob Dikh Lib
  • Yugoslavian: Ya te volim

Valentine's Day and its equivalents in other cultures


Valentine's Day also has regional traditions in the UK. In Norfolk a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although leavings treats, many children were scared of this mystical person. In Wales many people celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen (St Dwynwen's Day) on 25 January instead of or as well as St Valentine's Day. The day commemorates St Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers.

In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin." and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.

In Denmark & Norway Valentine's Day (14 Feb) is known as Valentinsdag. It is not celebrated to a large extent, but some people take time to be romantic with their partner, or send a card to a secret love. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts' Day") and was launched in the 1960's by the flower industry's commercial interests, and due to influence of American culture. It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only bested by those for Mother's Day.

In Slovenia, a proverb says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots," so on February 14, plants and flowers start to grow. Valentine's Day has been celebrated as the day when the first works in the vineyards and on the fields commence. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Nevertheless, it has only recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love is traditionally 12 March, the Saint Gregory's day. Another proverb says "Valentin - prvi spomladin" ("Valentine — first saint of spring"), as in some places (especially White Carniola) Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.

In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, which is celebrated on February 24. It is named after a character from Romanian folklore who was supposed to be the son of Baba Dochia. Part of his name is the word drag ("dear"), which can also be found in the word dragoste ("love"). In recent years, Romania has also started celebrating Valentine's Day, despite already having Dragobete as a traditional holiday. This has drawn backlash from many groups, reputable persons and institutions[9] but also nationalist organizations like Noua Dreaptǎ, who condemn Valentine's Day for being superficial, commercialist and imported Western kitsch.

Middle East and Africa

According to Jewish tradition the 15th day of the month of Av - Tu B'Av (usually late August) is the festival of love (hag haahava). In ancient times girls would wear white dresses and dance in the vineyards, where the boys would be waiting for them (Mishna Taanith end of Chapter 4). In modern Israeli culture this is a popular day to pronounce love, propose marriage and give gifts like cards or flowers.

In Turkey, Valentine's Day is called Sevgililer Günü which translates into "Sweet Hearts Day". In Persian culture (Iran) Sepandarmazgan is a day for love, which is on 29 Bahman in the jalali solar calendar. The corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar is 17 February. Sepandarmazgan were held in the Great Persian Empire in the 20th century BC.

In Egypt, there is another day of love on November 4 called "The Egyptian Love Day".

The Americas

In Brazil, the Dia dos Namorados (lit. "Day of the enamored", or "Boyfriend's/Girlfriend's Day") is celebrated on June 12, when couples exchange gifts such as chocolates, cards and usually a flower bouquet. This day is chosen probably because it is the day before the Saint Anthony's day, known there as the marriage saint, when many single women perform popular rituals in order to find a good husband or a boyfriend.

In Colombia, the Día del amor y la amistad (lit. "Love and Friendship Day") is celebrated on the third Friday and Saturday in September, because of commercial issues. In this country the Amigo secreto ("Secret friend") tradition is quite popular, which consists of randomly assigning to each participant a recipient who is to be given an anonymous gift (similar to the Christmas tradition of Secret Santa).

In Mexico, the Día del amor y la amistad is celebrated similar to Colombia but this one falls on [[FIn Finland, Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's day". As the name says, this day is more about remembering your friends than your loved ones.


Thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, Valentine's Day has emerged in Japan and Korea as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers. It has become an obligation for many women to give chocolates to all male co-workers. In Japan this is known as giri-choko (義理チョコ), from the words giri ("obligation") and choko, ("chocolate"). This contrasts with honmei-choko; chocolate given to a loved one. Friends, especially girls, may exchange chocolate referred to as tomo-choko (友チョコ); from tomo meaning "friend".

By a further marketing effort, a reciprocal day called White Day has emerged. On March 14, men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Originally, the return gift was supposed to be white chocolate or marshmallows; hence "White Day". However, lingerie has become a common gift.

In Korea there is an additional day for singltons, Black Day, celebrated on April 14, and in South Korea, also Pepero Day, celebrated November 11, on which young couples give each other romantic gifts.

In Chinese culture, there is a counterpart to Valentine's Day, called "The Night of Sevens" (七夕), according to legend the Cowherd and the Weaver Maid meet in Heaven on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. The last "Night of Sevens" was on August 30, 2006. A slightly different version of this day is celebrated in Japan as Tanabata, on July 7th on the solar calendar.

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