St. Valentine’s Day comes on February 14. It is not a legal or a national holiday. Banks and offices are not closed, but it is a happy little festival for a lot of people. It is widely celebrated in the UK, the USA and many European countries. It is a good day for parties, especially by young people.
People of all ages send Valentine’s cards or give flowers or chocolate to the person they love. Valentines are special greeting cards. They are often coloured red, have red trimmings and pictures of hearts. Some of them have verses of love poetry printed on them. Traditionally a Valentine’s card is not signed by the person who sends it, so the person who receives it has to guess who it is from.
St. Valentine is the patron of sweethearts. February 14 is the anniversary of his death. There are a lot of legends about Valentine. One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served in church during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he banned marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the ruler, continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, he was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies.
Now St. Valentine is a very popular Saint in many countries and a symbol of heroism, romance and love.