valentine

The Valentine’s Day

The Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular festivity all around the world.

Do you know the origin of this celebration?

Well, the tradition wants that pope Gelasio I, in 469 A.C., decided that the 14th February, Saint Valentine’s day, would be the day of the love. In this way he wanted to fight a pagan celebration, the “Lupercalia“, that used to take place from the 13th to the 15th February, and used to celebrate the fertility of the earth and of humans.

The legend wants that the bishop Valentine was beheaded on the 14th February 273 A.C. because he celebrated the marriage between a christian woman and a roman pagan legionary. From that moment on he is considered the protector of people in love by the Catholics, the Orthodoxes and the Anglicans.

Moreover, in the XIV century Geoffrey Chaucer, the writer of “The Canterbury Tales“, wrote a poem in onor of the marriage between Richard II of England and Anne of Bohemia, in which he linked Cupid to the Valentine’s Day.

Cupid was the roman god of love (called “Eros” by ancient Greeks). In the common imaginary Cupid looks like a kid with wings and an arch; he strikes people with his arrows and makes them love each other.

Nowadays, the Valentine’s day is celebrated all over the world in several different and funny ways.

In Kenya girls are used to give  a pumpkin full of palm wine to the beloved as a present and then they drink together from a “love goblet”.

In Holland this is the day to declare yourself to the loved person; usually the declaration is anonymous. The perfect present is a heart of licorice.

In Japan in this day women cook and give as presents chocolate candies to the men they love. The tradition wants that men have to do the same one month later.

In Hungary on the Valentine’s day boys and girls normally go in the woods to pick snowdrops!

In the USA, all the families celebrate together love in all his forms, with kids preparing postcards for friends, parents, and sometimes teachers.

Curiously in Brasil people celebrate the Valentine’s day on June 12th, because during February there is the Carnival. Besides, the 14th February is the day before Sant’Antonio‘s day, dedicated to the marriage’s protector.

And what are you going to do for the Valentine’s day this year?

 

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