Saint Valentine in Zaragoza
Like every year, February 14th is marked on calendars around the world as a day in which millions of people demonstrate not only love but also friendship through gifts and celebrating the Valentine’s Day. Beyond the commercial issue of the date, could you say who really was Valentine and what is the origin of the celebration?
The historical figure of Valentine is somewhat uncertain. It is not even certain that he actually existed, but it is believed that he was a Roman priest who lived in the 3rd or 4th century AD and was executed in the time of the Roman Empire.
According to tradition, Saint Valentine believed in love and although the emperor had forbidden marriages between young soldiers, since he thought that if they were not married they would fight better and would not refuse to go to war, the priest continued to officiate marriage bonds until that he was arrested, and executed on February 14.
So far the sad part of the story. The Valentine’s Day is full of curiosities, since in each country the tradition is different and the date of celebration also varies a lot, although February 14 is quite extended. Here are some examples…
In Japan, only women celebrate Valentine’s Day. On February 14th they give the men chocolate. Just one month later, on March 14th, it is the Japanese who return the gift to the women. Curious right?
In Denmark and Norway the tradition is for men to send poetry to women anonymously. If the woman guesses whose message it is, she wins an Easter egg. If she doesn’t guess, she must give it to him. So funny!
In China the tradition is to give roses to a loved one, but be careful! The number of roses that are given has one meaning or another. For example, giving 1 rose means that this person is unique, but with 108 roses the message that is transmitted is a marriage request.
In Finland it is called Friend’s Day, and it is a day that is reserved to honor all loved ones, whether they are family members, close friends or the couple of course. A beautiful tradition, dedicated to spending time with those closest to you and reminding them that they are important to us.