February 14 is the day of lovers, Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day has become increasingly popular in recent years in our latitudes. Historically, it goes back to one or more Christian martyrs with this name. Bishop Valentin of Rome and Valentin von Terni are mentioned again and again.
Valentine of Rome is said to have married young couples in spite of prevailing prohibition against the Christian rite and to have given them flowers from his garden. He was beheaded by order of the Emperor on February 14, 269.
Valentine of Terni healed the crippled son of a rhetorician in Rome. He was then arrested, scourged, and finally beheaded for denying the sacrifice of God to the emperor.
Today it is no longer possible to find out whether the two Valentines were one and the same person.
The custom of giving flowers on February 14 has been around for millennia. In ancient Rome, this day was dedicated to the goddess Juno, the patron saint of marriage and family. On this day, women were given flowers.
Valentine's Day is very popular especially in English-speaking countries, where it also has a long history. It all started with a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, published in 1383. Since the 15th century, lots of Valentine's couples have been formed in England, but little attention was paid in the way we do today. In the Victorian era, lovers finally sent each other decorated cards.
The tradition reached the US by English immigrants. Later, US soldiers brought Valentines to the German-speaking world after the Second World War. Here it developed especially by resourceful florists and confectionery manufacturers to ever greater notoriety.
The popularity of this holiday is also increasing in Asia. In Japan, women give chocolates to men that day. There is also the White Day, where the men give the women chocolate. Also in Korea and China, the day is very popular or it is becoming increasingly popular.
In some countries, however, it is also prohibited. It is on the banned list of Islamic law in Saudi Arabia. The purchase of things that are suitable as gifts for Valentine's Day is prohibited a few days before. In Thailand, the day itself is not prohibited. However, since there is a legal ban on the exchange of tenderness in public, it is at least not publicly celebrated.
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