It is believed that Valentine's Day has been around for more than 16 centuries but the celebration of love known to still earlier times — from the time of ancient pagan cultures. For example, the Romans celebrated the festival of mid-February, eroticism, called Lupercalia, in honor of the goddess of love, Juno Februata.
We have a holiday and the specific "culprit" — Christian priest Valentine. This story dates back to around 269 a year, while the Roman Empire rules the Emperor Claudius II. A belligerent Roman army experienced an acute shortage of soldiers for military campaigns, and the commander was convinced that the main enemy of his "Napoleonic" plans — marriage, for married footballer of the glory of the empire thinks much less than that, as a family to feed. And, in order to save his soldiers fighting spirit, the emperor issued an edict forbidding marriage legionnaires.
But falling in love-that the soldiers of this does not become smaller. And their happiness was a man who, undaunted by the imperial anger, began secretly marry foreign players with their loved ones. They had a priest named Valentine from the Roman city of Terni (Valentine of Terni). Apparently, he was a true romantic, as his favorite amusements was to reconcile quarreling, helping to write love letters and give the request of Legionnaires flowers objects of their passion.
Clearly, once the emperor learned of this, he decided his "criminal activity" to stop. Valentine was sentenced to death. The tragedy of the situation was still in the fact that he himself was in love with Valentine jailer's daughter. The day before his execution, the priest wrote a farewell letter to the girl, where he spoke of his love, and signed it "Your Valentine." Read it was after he was executed.
Later, as a Christian martyr who suffered for their faith, Valentine was canonized by the Catholic Church. But in 496 the Pope Gelasius (Pope Gelasius I) announced 14 February Valentine's Day.
Since 1969, as a result of the reform of worship Saint Valentine was removed from the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church (along with other Roman saints, details of whose lives are contradictory and unreliable.) However, and until 1969, the church did not approve and did not support the traditions of celebrating this day.
So was it anyway, but, apparently, that's where it was led to write a Valentine's Day love notes — " valentines. " And in this celebration like to arrange a wedding and get married. It is believed that this will be the key to eternal love.
In Western Europe, Valentine's Day was widely celebrated in the 13th century, in the United States — since 1777.
The tradition of giving gifts on this day grew stronger with each passing year, and for some has become quite a successful business. For example, at the beginning of the last century, Americans have been taken to send their brides marzipan, which were quite expensive.
In Japan, the tradition of giving that day came with a sweet submission of a major company for the production of chocolate. There began to celebrate Valentine's Day in 30 years, and still remains the most popular chocolate gift. By the way, there's Valentine's Day is a little reminiscent of the "March 8 for men", as Japanese men get, perhaps, even more gifts than women: men's accessories such as razors, lotion, wallet and so on.
In a passionate French Valentine's Day decided to give jewelry as a romantic Denmark, people send each other dried white flowers.
In Britain, 14 February unmarried girls get up before sunrise, getting near the window and look at the passing men. According to legend, the first man they see, and there are betrothed.
But there are some countries in the world that are particularly distinguished themselves in the celebration of Valentine's Day. This is primarily Saudi Arabia, which is the only country in the world where this holiday ... is officially banned, and, under pain of heavy fines.
And in Russia was a lovers' holiday, celebrated it's just not in the winter and at the beginning of the summer. He was associated with the legendary love story of Peter and Fevronia is dedicated Kupala — Slavic pagan god, the son of Perun.