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The History of Valentine's Day and celebration worldwide

Updated on February 12, 2016

A wonderful Day of Remembrance.

Ahhhh, Valentine's Day.

A day of preparation and love. Traditionally, this day is when husbands and wives lay down their arms (in the war of the roses) and wrap them around each other. It's an unspoken rule that all arguments must be settled then and there, and forgiveness must reign supreme.

A day when men trying to woo the heart of a lady, typically become their most romantic and step out of the box to "go the extra mile" for said lady. A day when the lady becomes a bit more soft-hearted towards the man's wooing and stop playing "hard to get", well....at least most of the time.

I personally have something amazing planned for my wife. It consists of........what? You thought I was just going to give it away right here..... To you?!? Some things are better left unsaid. Besides, she reads my hubs (Big smile).

The only sad thing I find on this day, is that most people have no idea why we celebrate in the first place.

Fun times for Valentines.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day this year?

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The true story of Valentinus.

Now here's a little history lesson for you. This is why we celebrate this joyous day.

In the third century A.D., there lived in Rome, a godly Christian man named Valentinus. He loved Jesus Christ with all his heart and it was said that he had an extraordinary love for everyone around him. Whether it was a cup of water or a warm meal, Valentinus had a big heart for people!

During the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II, the Romans believed in a pantheon of gods (12 specifically), and it was a law that you had to worship those gods. As a matter of fact, he made it a crime to even speak to a christian. Well, Valentinus loved The Lord too much to turn his back on him and kept right on doing what he was doing. The Roman authorities arrested and imprisoned him with the death sentence tacked on for good measure.

As he awaited his execution, the jailer spoke with Valentinus. Finding him to be a well educated man, he brought his daughter Julia to be taught by Valentinus. Julia was blind so extra care was taken so that she learned well. Valentinus taught her arithmetic, Roman history, reading, but especially about God. He taught her to pray and to seek God on her own.

A very special bond had grown between them as they spent time together. Julia began to look at Valentinus as a great mentor and friend. Valentinus loved her like a daughter. One day, she shared her heart with him that she had been praying to God every night to receive her sight. Valentinus assured her he had been praying as well. All of a sudden, a flash of light illuminated the prison cell. Shocked, Julia started yelling out, "I'm no longer blind! I saw the light!" Valentinus hugged the young girl and rejoiced, praising God!

The night before he was to be executed, Valentinus wrote a note to Julia exhorting her to not forget him, his love, or God. It was signed, "From your Valentine."

Valentinus was martyred the next day, February 14, 270 A.D.

This special day is celebrated to honor the kind of love we should be showing each other daily.

As a matter of fact, many different cultures around the world honor this day in their own special ways.

Japanese Anime
Japanese Anime
French Chocolates.
French Chocolates.

JAPAN

Japan makes it very public when they celebrate.

  • Japanese husbands, who normally very reserved in public towards their wives, turn into walking megaphones on this important day. They will literally walk into the middle of the street, turn towards their wife, and start proclaiming loudly to the entire world how much they love her! Talk about enthusiasm!
  • Japanese families (including grandparents and children) will climb into a large pool of chocolate and begin to eat what they're sitting in! The host will even come by and pour chocolate on the heads of family members.

Visions of Willie Wonka dance in my head.

FRANCE

France is not unknown for being a country of love. Heck, the French kiss became popular because of them. Their normal tradition is to exchange roses and chocolate, but one tradition (that's no longer practiced) makes the list for being quite different.

  • Single people of all ages would go into houses that faced each other. They would then proceed to call out from the windows to one another and eventually join with the partner of their choosing. The men could be especially dismissive in that if they didn't like the woman they were with, they could abandon her on the spot. The women would later light a fire and burn the images of the men while using "not so nice" phrases and words to describe them. The French Government actually banned this one as it was deemed a "heartless and cold" tradition.

But on a further note, it appears we've picked up the tradition on shows like "The Bachelor".

Kiddies in England.
Kiddies in England.

ENGLAND

England is not too unlIke the United States in that they celebrate with candy, cards, or chocolate. But there two "ahem" unique traditions that make the list.

  • The single women tend to believe that whatever man comes across their path first that day, that's the man they're supposed to marry! Alright guys, if you see an attractive English lady you like, just dress as a traveling salesman and give her door a knock early in the morning.
  • Little children will sing special songs. People then give them fruit, candy, or even money.

Trip to Italia.
Trip to Italia. | Source
My wife and family in Italy.
My wife and family in Italy. | Source

ITALY

This one is close to my heart, being that my wife was born there. When most people think of Italy, they think of the waterways of Venice, the coliseums of Rome, and the vineyards of Tuscany. A few romantic traditions once existed besides the cards and roses of today.

  • At one time, couples would actually wait until Valentine's day to get engaged.
  • It was once celebrated as a Festival as people would gather together in gardens and listen to beautiful music and poetry.

Today, the Italians sing and dance outside together as the main way they celebrate!

SCOTLAND

When I think of Scotland, I think of the Highlands. I think of the movie Braveheart starring Mel Gibson (You were too, admit it). I think of kilts and bagpipes. I don't think of the romantic traditions they have. There's one tradition in particular worth mentioning though:

  • A festival is held in which a great number of single people attend. Two hats are placed on a table, one for both sexes, and the people put their names into the hats. The men will pull names from the ladies' hat and vice versa. After that, the people split off into couples, the males then give the females a gift. In return, the females pin the name of their new partners over their hearts or on their sleeves. Dancing ensues! Some of the couples actually end up getting married!


Final thoughts.

Well guys, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about different cultural traditions from around the world. In the meantime, there's only one question left to ask.

Who's your Valentine?

Thanks for reading,

Kasman will return with another hub soon!

Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...I just did an article on this for a customer. Good job with the history; I could have teamed with you to write this...I mean I just finished it yesterday. At least I got paid for mine. :)

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Lol, I swear I didn't copy off you brother! (Looking over your shoulder while you type) What you got there bill? That's funny man. I thought I'd do something for this special holiday. Very few people know the history. Thanks a lot man and as always, I appreciate your comment.

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      A great educational hub! I didn't know these facts about other countries and Valentine's Day.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you Amanda. Up until a few years ago, I didn't either. I'm blessed that you enjoyed it. I appreciate your comment!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very informative, Kas. Interesting the different ways it's celebrated around the world. Voted up, beautiful.

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thank you Rajan, I definitely enjoyed writing it and researching it. I thought it would be nice to have something a little different for valentines.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

      Kasman:

      I enjoy reading your words and I love how you think...this makes you a double-threat. Your article was well written, fun to read and quite informative. Thank you, my friend.

      Truth be known, I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day anymore. Being a hopeless romantic, I once had relished the opportunity to do something unique and special for my former flames on this day, but Corporate America and social engineering has muddied the water, such that, I can no longer celebrate it with a clear conscience.

      I'll be gone for awhile, so best wishes, behave and be well - C.J.

      P.S. Voted up and away!!!

    • Kasman profile image
      Author

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Thanks so much cj. I appreciate the kind words my friend. I hate to see you going but I hope you do well in whatever venture you've got! God bless my friend.

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