Social life going strong but love life not so much?
Where does Valentine’s Day come from?
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Games Daily Sudoku. Universal Crossword. Daily Word Search. Mah Jong Quest. Subscribe Top Menu Current Issue. The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in , describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting and dancing.
At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt , The earliest surviving valentines in English appear to be those in the Paston Letters , written in by Margery Brewes to her future husband John Paston "my right well-beloved Valentine". Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes, And dupp'd the chamber-door; Let in the maid, that out a maid Never departed more.
John Donne used the legend of the marriage of the birds as the starting point for his epithalamion celebrating the marriage of Elizabeth , daughter of James I of England , and Frederick V, Elector Palatine , on Valentine's Day:. All the Ayre is thy Diocese And all the chirping Queristers And other birds ar thy parishioners Thou marryest every yeare The Lyrick Lark, and the graue whispering Doue, The Sparrow that neglects his life for loue, The houshold bird with the redd stomacher Thou makst the Blackbird speede as soone, As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halcyon The Husband Cock lookes out and soone is spedd And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine. The verse " Roses are red " echoes conventions traceable as far back as Edmund Spenser 's epic The Faerie Queene :. The honey's sweet, and so are you. And Fortune said it shou'd be you. In , a British publisher issued The Young Man's Valentine Writer , which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called "mechanical valentines. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the midth century.
A reduction in postal rates following Sir Rowland Hill 's postal reforms with the invention of the postage stamp Penny Black saw the number of Valentines posted increase, with , sent just one year after its invention, and ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. In the United States, the first mass-produced Valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after by Esther Howland — of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Harrison's Confessions : "I burst in with my explanations: 'The valentine I know nothing about. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In , the British chocolate company Cadbury created Fancy Boxes — a decorated box of chocolates — in the shape of a heart for Valentine's Day. The U. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately million valentines are sent each year in the US.
Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine's Day greeting messages such as e-cards , love coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in In the modern era, liturgically, the Anglican Church has a service for St. Valentine's Day the Feast of St. Valentine , which includes the optional rite of the renewal of marriage vows.
In the later 20th and early 21st centuries, these customs spread to other countries, but their effect has been more limited than those of Hallowe'en , or than aspects of Christmas , such as Santa Claus. It is also common to see people perform "acts of appreciation" for their friends. In Brazil , the Dia dos Namorados lit. Couples exchange gifts, chocolates, cards, and flower bouquets. The February 14 Valentine's Day is not celebrated at all because it usually falls too little before or too little after the Brazilian Carnival  — that can fall anywhere from early February to early March and lasts almost a week.
Because of the absence of Valentine's Day and due to the celebrations of the Carnivals, Brazil was recommended by U.
In the United States, about million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. The "Chinese Valentine's Day" is the Qixi Festival , celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It commemorates a day on which a legendary cowherder and weaving maid are allowed to be together.
According to the legend, the Cowherd star and the Weaver Maid star are normally separated by the Milky Way silvery river but are allowed to meet by crossing it on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese calendar. In recent years, celebrating White Day has also become fashionable among some young people. In India , in antiquity, there was a tradition of adoring Kamadeva , the lord of love; exemplificated by the erotic carvings in the Khajuraho Group of Monuments and by the writing of the Kamasutra.
Valentine's Day celebrations did not catch on in India until around It was spread due to the programs in commercial TV channels, such as MTV , dedicated radio programs, and love letter competitions, in addition to an economical liberalization that allowed the explosion of the valentine card industry. In modern times, Hindu and Islamic  traditionalists have considered the holiday to be cultural contamination from the West, a result of globalization in India.
Despite these obstacles, Valentine's Day is becoming increasingly popular in India. Valentine's Day has been strongly criticized from a postcolonial perspective by intellectuals from the Indian left. The holiday is regarded as a front for "Western imperialism", " neocolonialism ", and "the exploitation of working classes through commercialism by multinational corporations ". They also criticize mainstream media attacks on Indians opposed to Valentine's Day as a form of demonization that is designed and derived to further the Valentine's Day agenda.
Valentine’s Day In A Box
Our activists will beat them up". In the first part of the 21st century, the celebration of Valentine's Day in Iran has been harshly criticized by Islamic teachers who see the celebrations as opposed to Islamic culture.
In , the Iranian printing works owners' union issued a directive banning the printing and distribution of any goods promoting the holiday, including cards , gifts, and teddy bears. Outlets that violate this will be legally dealt with", the union warned. In Iran, the Sepandarmazgan , or Esfandegan, is a festival where people express love towards their mothers and wives, and it is also a celebration of earth in ancient Persian culture. It has been progressively forgotten in favor of the Western celebration of Valentine's Day. The Association of Iran's Cultural and Natural Phenomena has been trying since to make Sepandarmazgan a national holiday on February 17, in order to replace the Western holiday.
It is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Av usually in late August. In ancient times girls would wear white dresses and dance in the vineyards, where the boys would be waiting for them Mishna Taanith end of Chapter 4. Today, Tu B'Av is celebrated as a second holiday of love by secular people along with Valentine's Day , and it shares many of the customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day in western societies. In modern Israeli culture Tu B'Av is a popular day to proclaim love, propose marriage, and give gifts like cards or flowers.
The Gory Origins of Valentine's Day | History | Smithsonian
In Japan , Morozoff Ltd. Later, in , it began promoting the giving of heart-shaped chocolates; other Japanese confectionery companies followed suit thereafter. In , the Isetan department store ran a "Valentine sale". Further campaigns during the s popularized the custom. The custom that only women give chocolates to men may have originated from the translation error of a chocolate-company executive during the initial campaigns.