In Ecuador and Mexico, they usually celebrate 14th February with roses, chocolate, cards, serenades and evening meals between married couples, girlfriends and boyfriends and friends.
On 14th February in Argentina and Chile they celebrate the ‘Day of those in love’, a day in which partners (casual, engaged or married) celebrate love and their union with one another. In Argentina they also celebrate the Day of Spring and the Student. On this day it is customary to exchange cards, flowers, chocolates and teddy bears. This date marks the beginning of the season of Spring.
In Spain, they started to celebrate Valentine’s day in the middle of the 20th century, to create an incentive to buy presents. Often it is claimed that the celebration was introduced by the department store, El Corte Inglés. In Valencia it is celebrated on 9th October, on the feast day of Saint Dionis and in Catalonia the 23rd April is celebrated, as it is the feast day of Saint George, the Catalan patron saint.
In the United Kingdom during the 17th century, the celebration of Valentine’s Day became widespread. In the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers to exchange love notes written by hand. At the end of this century, printed cards started to replace these letters. In this period, Americans also adopted the tradition and in the 1840s, Esther A. Howland started to sell the first mass-produced Valentine’s day cards.
Some think that Valentine’s Day is on 14th February because this is the date when Saint Valentine died or was buried. Others believe that it is celebrated mid-February because it was an attempt by the Catholic church to christianize the celebrations of the pagan festival of fertility ‘Lupercalia’ which started on 15th February.
Pope Gelasius declared 14th February St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. Various theories exist regarding how Valentine’s Day started and one of those describes a story that mixes drama with romanticism, whereas others claim that the celebration came about due to a pagan festival that was christianized.
Since the nineteenth century, people have exchanged cards and gifts like roses and chocolates. The gift of roses is common between couples, friends and family, and the colour of the roses determines the message expressed. For example, the red rose symbolizes love, white represents peace and yellow represents friendship.