It’s Valentine’s Day today. It’s a great day to do something special for someone you care about. Of course, it would be the best if you do something special for somebody you care about every day and not only on holidays when you’re supposed to do it 😊 And yes, of course we have some special stamps you could use if you plan to send something via mail.
Origins – Paganism
As it’s usually the case with most Christian holidays they are closely related to pagan celebrations. This is also the case with Valentine’s Day. February 15 was reserved for the celebration of Lupercalia, a festival dedicated to Faunus the Roman god of agriculture, as well to the founders of Rome, Romulus, and Remus. Habits are hard to change, especially when almost everybody is used to them, so it seems wise to just replace an old celebration with a new one. Although some may not agree with it, it’s a great coincidence that Pope Gelasius I abolished Lupercalia and added St. Valentine’s Day to the calendar of saints.
UK – Folklore
Origins – The Legend of Saint Valentine
The legend is pretty straightforward. We have naughty Romans who prohibited things and brave saint-to-be that gave his life to do what was forbidden. That was the case here. The most commonly used legend goes like this:
- Roman emperor Claudius II went with idea that single men are better soldiers than those with wives and families. There is a lot to discuss here. Maybe this would stand when you fight an offensive war, but for the defensive war, I guess men with families would be better soldiers. Especially if two men who are partners fight next to each other (e.g. Scared Band of Thebes was composed of 150 male couples and was the most elite force of Theban army).
- Valentine found this decision to be very problematic and continued secretly marrying young lovers.
- Claudius found about this and got Valentine sentenced to death.
- During imprisonment, Valentine fell in love with a young girl and before his execution, he sent a letter to her signed “from your Valentine”.
Croatia – 2012/02/01
Origins – from Chaucer to these days
Although today we relate Valentine’s Day with love, it was not always like that. Actually, that started with Parlement of Foules, a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in 1382 with these words:
“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
That started an avalanche of love poetry and valentine greetings with first ones recorded in the 15th century. Slowly but steadily we transformed it into the celebration of love and consumerism. And here we are today. Who remembers the legends these days!? Greeting cards, gift cards, flowers, candy, and jewelry are more popular these days. Fortunately for us, in this consumerism, we can also find some pretty Valentine’s Day stamps from all over the World.
USA – Sealed with Love
Few interesting Valentine’s Day facts
Lists are very cool, so let’s finish this article with one such list. Here are some interesting facts about Valentine’s Day:
- Richard Cadbury (member of the Cadbury chocolate family) gave his beloved chocolates in the heart-shaped box. That happened in 1868 and chocolates and Valentine’s Day still get along these days.
- Approximately 3% pet owners will buy a gift for their pets.
- Men buy flowers approximately 3 times more often than women (75% to 25%).
- A lot of people buy Valentine’s Day presents to themselves (mostly women).
- Teachers receive most Valentine’s Day cards (and there is approximately 1 billion of these cards sent each year).
Taiwan – Valentine’s Day
You don’t need to have any special idea what to give to your beloved one on this day. If you ask me, a simple combination of words will do. Maybe a good meal or washed dishes. Or a cake 😊 If you’re more romantic than me, try with flowers and cards. And yes, find some Valentine’s Day stamps to combine them with said cards.
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