I’m a diehard romantic and thought I’d
blog a little bit about the traditions of this day with all of my readers…
Saint Valentine's Day, often simply
Valentine's Day is an observed
on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It
was first established by Pop Gelasius in 496 AD, but was later removed from the
Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in western countries.
Valentine’s Day was first associated with Romantic Love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages when the tradition of “Courtly Love” flourished. By the 15th century, it
had evolved into an occasion in which lovers were able to expressed their love
for each other by presenting flowers, offering sweets and sending cards.
Although celebrated worldwide, each country has its own little twist that makes each celebration unique to the region. Here are just a few traditions in some countries I found that I thought
I’d share with you.
While sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts is traditional in the UK,
Valentine's Day has various regional customs. In Norfolk England, a character
called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and
presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were
scared of this mystical person. In Wales, many people celebrate Dydd Santes
Dwynwen (St Dwynwen's Day) on January 25 instead of (or as well as)
Valentine's Day. The day commemorates St. Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh
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 Spain Valentine's Day is known as “ San Valentin” and is celebrated the same way as in the UK, although in Catalonia it is largely superseded by similar festivities of rose
and/or book giving on Saint George's Day.
In Portugal it is more commonly referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" (Lover's Day /
Day of those that are in love with each other).
In Denmark and Norway, although February 14 is known as Valentinsdag,
it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American
culture, and some people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner,
to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. The
cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday.
In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts' Day") and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry's commercial interests, and due to the 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 exceeded by those for Mother's
In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into
"Friend's day". As the name indicates, this day is more about
remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones.
In the country of Slovenia, St Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint
of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims. A proverb says that
"St Valentine brings the keys of roots". Plants and flowers start to
grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the
vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to
each other or marry on that day. Another proverb says "Valentin – prvi
spomladin" ("Valentine — the first spring saint"), as in some places (especially White Carniola),
Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring. Valentine's Day has only
recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love was traditionally
March 12, the St. Gregory’s day, or February 22, St. Vincent’s Day The patron of love was St. Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on 13 June.