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.
Each year 189million flowers are sold in U.S. on Valentine’s Day out of which approximately 110 million are red. So from where do all those flowers come? 60% of American roses are produced in California but on Valentine’s Day 90% flowers are imported from Columbia and Ecuador.
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Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a Roman festival. The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February, officially the start of their springtime. It’s thought that as part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box. They’d be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they’d get married. Later on, the church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian celebration and decided to use it to remember St Valentine too.
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.
Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday. Government offices, stores, schools and other organizations are open as usual. Public transit systems run on their regular schedule. Restaurants may be busier than usual as many people go out for an evening with their spouse or partner. Valentine’s Day is also a very popular date for weddings.
The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer often took liberties with history, placing his poetic characters into fictitious historical contexts that he represented as real. No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention.