The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentineof all who witnessed.

According to a legend, when emperor claudius ii realized that single men were better soldiers than those with wives and children, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice, defied Claudius’ decree and continued to marry young lovers in secret. When Claudius found out he ordered Valentine’s death.

According to other legends, Valentine was probably killed trying to help the Christians from the inhuman persecutions of the Romans. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “Valentine” greeting once he fell in love with a girl, possibly his jailer’s daughter who was visiting him while he was in solitary confinement. It is said that before his execution he sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine”, an expression still used today.

However, the truth behind the myths about Valentine is very dark. Legends emphasize a sympathetic image, heroic and mostly romantic. In the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would emerge as one of the most popular saints in France and England.

Origin of Valentine’s Day

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in mid-February to commemorate the anniversary of his death or burial, probably around 270 AD, others argue that the Christian church decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in mid-February in an attempt to “Christianize” the pagan festival of Lupercalia, one of the oldest Roman festivals held annually in honor of Lupercus, an early god of fertility in Roman mythology, equivalent to the Greek god Pan.

The celebration took place every year on February 15 in Lupercaliothe cave on Rome’s Palatine Hill where the brothers Romulus and Romus are said to have been raised.

Before the feast began, Roman priests gathered in a sacred cave where the infant Romulus and Romus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been raised by a she-wolf. The priests sacrificed a goat for fertility, and a dog for purification. Then they collected the goat’s blood and sprinkled it on the women’s faces, but also on the fields, so that they would bear fruit. Later that day, according to legend, all the young unmarried women would write their names and put them in a large container. Each bachelor in town would choose a woman’s name to mate with for the rest of the year. These pairings usually ended in marriage.

Lupercalia was celebrated until the advent of early Christianity, but was later outlawed as “un-Christian” when in the late 5th century Pope Gelasius established February 14 as Valentine’s Day.

During his Middle Agesin France and England, February 14th was the beginning of the mating season for birds, a belief that reinforced the theory that Valentine’s Day was a day for romance.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be widely celebrated in the 17th century. By the mid-18th century, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small gifts of love or handwritten notes, while from 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters, thanks to advances in printing technology .

In the United States, they probably started exchanging handmade Valentine cards in the early 1700s. In the 1840s Esther A. Howland began selling America’s first printed Valentine’s Day cards. Also known as the “Mother of Valentines,” Howland crafted elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons, and colorful imagery.

It is estimated that over 1 billion cards are sent worldwide on Valentine’s Day, while 2.6 billion cards are sent at Christmas.

Valentine’s Day goes around the world


In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Chinese people learned to celebrate Valentine’s Day by exchanging romantic gifts and going on dates. For centuries, however, the Chinese had their own “Valentine’s Day.”

The corresponding Valentine’s Day in China is the so-called “Seventh Night” and was usually celebrated in early August, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.


In the Land of the Rising Sun, Valentine’s Day is as sweet as chocolate! The girls give the traditional “Giri Choko” (chocolates that are given without any romantic connotation) to men, friends, colleagues and even employers. If they want to show another kind of “love”, then they should include in the chocolate a handmade gift, “Honmei Choco”.

A month later, on March 14, the boys must return the gift with chocolates and other goodies… This day is called “White Day”.

South Korea

Like in Japan, in South Korea, Valentine’s Day is actually celebrated as “White Day”, that is, on March 14, when men return gifts to girlfriends.

However, in South Korea they also have a special day for unlucky lovers, which is celebrated on April 14th. On that day, men and women who are alone go together to eat black noodles, to share their sorrow together. Some of them also wear black clothes.


One day is not enough to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Argentina, the land of tango. In addition to February 14, Argentines have a whole week in July called “sweet week”.

From July 13 to 20, lovers and friends exchange candy and kisses. This week usually ends with “Friendship Day”.


Valentine’s Day in Germany is particularly popular with residents, but not with the commercial frenzy that characterizes other countries. Lovers will exchange not only chocolates, flowers and heart-shaped gifts, but also something else special for this celebration: a pig!

The pig for the Germans represents luck and lust and is given away in miniatures, in the shape of chocolate, etc. The Germans also make large heart-shaped gingerbread cookies with phrases such as: “Ich Liebe dich” (I love you ).


In Italy the “Day of Love” is classically celebrated as a spring festival. On Valentine’s Day, couples enjoy music, poetry together and exchange gifts such as “baci perugini”, a box of chocolate “kisses” filled with small hazelnuts (baci means kisses in Italian).

This box will come with a romantic note in four languages. Also according to an old tradition, the first man a girl sees on that day will become her husband within a year!


Chile is also known as the “land of poets” and it is true that Chileans are really very romantic. Valentine’s Day is eagerly awaited by lovers.

Chileans are very fond of celebrations and Valentine’s Day is an ideal opportunity for couples to celebrate with real enthusiasm. All major cities are decorated with flowers, balloons and garland hearts


Anyone looking for a ‘huge party’, Brazil’s carnival is an ideal opportunity as it takes place from February to March each year, coinciding with Valentine’s Day. However, the corresponding Brazilian holiday is “Valentine’s Day”, on June 12.

Brazilians like to exchange chocolates, flowers, cards, etc. Also, the musical performances that take place in all cities and towns bring together couples and families from all walks of life. Also in Brazil, the inhabitants celebrate the “Day of Saint Anthony”, the patron saint of marriage.



If flowers indicate romance, then Taiwan, world famous for its flowers, boasts the most romantic holiday in the world! And they celebrate it twice a year: on February 14 and July 7. The man is eager to offer a bouquet of flowers to his beloved.

According to Taiwanese tradition, the color and number of flowers will be an important message… red roses represent “unique love”, ninety-nine roses express “everlasting love” and 108 roses ask… “Will you marry me” ?”.


Paris – ‘the city of love’ – is practically the Valentine’s Day capital of the world, as couples from all over the world flock here for this special day.


On Valentine’s Day, lovers in France exchange letters and cards, a worldwide tradition that claims its roots in France.

Source: RES-MPE