On Feb. 14 countries around the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day; but the story behind Valentine’s Day still remains a mystery.
The History Channel website (www.history.com) featured two legends on the origins of this worldwide event.
St. Valentine served as a priest during the third century in Rome. Legend says that Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men because he believed that single men were better soldiers than those who had families. Valentine defied Claudius and continued marrying young couples in secret. Unfortunately, when Claudius discovered this, he sentenced Valentine to death.
In another legend, St. Valentine was an inmate. While in prison some believed he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter who would visit him during his imprisonment. Before dying he wrote her a love letter signing ‘From your Valentine,’ and the expression is still in use today.
Maybe this explains why in the Middle Ages St. Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
The mystery around the origins of St. Valentine and Valentine’s Day remain but that has not stopped lovebirds around the world from celebrating the date.
In China, Valentine’s Day is celebrated according to the Chinese calendar. The date is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
Terry Kaufman said that on this day lovers go to the Temple of Matchmaker to pray for love and happiness. In the Chinese culture, girls put a needle on the surface of the water when the star Vega can be found high in the sky. According to the ritual, this is the time a girl should search for a husband and are allowed to make any wish at all.
Web sites such as Chinatownconnection.com give an overview of how the day is celebrated around the world.
In Scotland, Valentine’s Day is a lottery day for single males and females. Each individual writes their name on a piece of paper that is put into a hat in accordance to their gender. Then the ladies draw first followed by the men. Couples are formed and the man presents a gift to the lady on his paper while the women pin the name of their partner on their sleeves or over their hearts.
Valentine’s Day in Korea is celebrated in the same way as in Japan. However, in Korea men who did not receive chocolates celebrate together on April 14th, or Black Day, where they eat black noodles called Jajangmyun.
Valentine’s Day in Brazil also means flirting day. Brazilians go to “Traffic Light” parties in which they are supposed to use the different traffic light colors to show their status for the potential affairs. If they are single they use a green wristband symbolizing they are free to find love. If they are in a relationship, but just wanted to enjoy a nice party they use a red wristband. If they are looking for someone and do not want to seem desperate, then they use yellow wristband.
Valentine’s Day is a day that is rooted in history. People around the world take notice and celebrate the day with a personal touch of their culture.