BE OUR VALENTINE?
IN the UK, it’s known as that special day when couples show their love for one another by exchanging cards, roses and boxes of chocolates. But what about the rest of the world? How are they feeling the love this Valentine’s Day? WHERE DID VALENTINE’S DAY COME FROM?
It’s thought that Valentine’s Day began in Roman times (possibly even before that), with a festival called Lupercalia. Farmers would celebrate Lupercalia and hope to get rid of evil spirits. Christians later took ownership of the festival, and named the day after Saint Valentine.
Saint Valentine was a bishop of Rome who believed in love, and spent much of his time secretly marrying people together – something which was against the law at the time. Unfortunately, he was caught and executed by Roman emperor Claudius in the year 269AD. While the day continued to be celebrated, it wasn’t until the 14th century that Valentine’s Day became associated with love and the traditions we know today grew from there.
The holiday is now huge all over the world, and pretty much everywhere has their own traditions! Here are three of our faves.
IN THE UK
Here in the UK, many people exchange romantic gifts on Valentine’s Day – there’s lots of card-swapping and present-giving among couples. But there are lots of other, more unusual, traditions across the UK every year on Valentine’s Day. For example, did you know that
in Wales some people give their partners wooden spoons? Yep – they’re called love spoons!
IN THE PHILIPPINES
It’s become more and more popular for thousands of couples to gather in one place and get married at the same time on Valentine’s Day. They’re going to need one BIG buffet to feed that lot!
Valentine’s Day, or ‘Valentinsdag’ as it is called in this area of the world, is a day for all those budding poets out there! Traditionally, men send short funny love poems to people they like, anonymously. The recipient then has to guess who their admirer is – if they guess right, the man has to buy them an Easter egg later in the year! These letters are known as ‘gaekkebrev’. Cute!
Newly married couples kiss during a mass wedding in the Philippines
A traditional Welsh wooden love spoon