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The Patron Saint of Lovers' Day, or Valentine's Day, is celebrated annually on February 14th. In 2023, the romantic holiday falls on a Tuesday. The cultural event is celebrated all over the world, the event is especially popular in Europe and the USA.

History of the holiday

The tradition of the celebration is connected with a difficult history overshadowed by martyrdom. The origins of the event are far from the modern romantic moods hovering on this day. In the popular version, the name Valentine was worn by a Roman legionnaire. He combined the service of a field doctor with the mission of a priest. Emperor Claudius II forbade marriages to strengthen the morale of the soldiers. He believed that thoughts about the well-being of families interfere with tuning in to victory. Valentine saw how lovers suffer, helped deliver love messages, and secretly married couples at night.

The Emperor himself found out about the activities of the priest. The tyrant ordered the execution of the recalcitrant legionnaire. Valentine was placed in prison, guards were assigned to him. A short conversation with the daughter of the guard Julia awakened the feelings of the priest. On the eve of his execution, he wrote a love letter to the girl, which he signed "Your Valentine". Yulia was able to read the note only after the execution of the sentence. According to legend, the girl remained faithful to Valentine.

The second version of events is connected with the fact that Valentine was executed for the wedding of a simple soldier with the daughter of a military leader.

There is another version about another Valentine, who also died as a result of the persecution of Christians.

Historians find pagan roots for the celebration leading to the Roman celebration of the Lupercalia in honor of the god Faun. In ancient Greece, Panurgy was celebrated, a game in honor of Pan, the god of fertility.

The romantic nature of the February event was noted in the 14th century in the poetic work "Bird Parliament". The author Geoffrey Chaucer mentions that every bird pairs up on Valentine's Day. In the 15th century, the celebration was widely celebrated in Great Britain and Scotland. Young people corresponded, exchanged gifts, arranged funny jokes.


The day of the patron saint of lovers began to be celebrated in our country relatively recently. In pre-revolutionary times, the holiday was called British, it was loved by noble youth. The girls made “valentines” from lace, silk, decorated with flowers, handed them over with the messenger boy to the chosen one or put them in the pocket of their outerwear. In houses where families had marriageable daughters, balls were held, to which grooms were invited.

The entertainment of young people was the game with hats, male and female. The participants laid out notes with their names in them - the girls threw them into the men's room, and the guys into the women's room. Then everyone pulled a note at random, so there were couples who needed to spend the whole evening together. After such games, many weddings were held.

During the periodSoviet authorities rejected everything Western, including celebrations. Many traditions have been lost.

In the wake of perestroika, in the 90s, St. Valentine's Day became known with a flood of foreign mass culture. At the English lessons, together with the teachers, they studied the traditions of the celebration, prepared envelopes for romantic notes with their own hands. Schools even installed mailboxes for valentine letters.

Colorful postcards appeared on sale, flowers were bought more often on the holiday, the number of visitors increased in the cafe. An attempt to replace Valentine's Day with the All-Russian Day of Family, Love and Fidelity was not crowned with great success.

Holiday traditions

The main symbol of Valentine's Day has long been considered a heart-shaped card, usually with a pink or red pattern. The first Valentine, as short colorful messages are called, was found in an English library. The note was written in 1477. In it, a girl addresses a young man, asks to prove her love, promises to get consent to their union from her mother.

Valentine's cards were widely used as symbols of love and devotion in the 18th century. Currently, more often they buy ready-made postcards designed by artists. Lovers are left to write words to their chosen ones.

On a holiday, girls often bake cookies in the form of small hearts, decorate with candied fruit, colored sprinkles, and icing. The treat is intended, first of all, for those who are spiritually dear. It is customary to give small gifts on Valentine's Day.

It is believed thatengagements, weddings, declarations of love on February 14 bring happiness to lovers, strengthen alliances, bind young people for many years.

In our country, there is a tradition on Valentine's Day to congratulate not only lovers, but also close people, including friends and relatives.

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