Valentine’s Day is the annual festival that celebrates love, friendship and admiration. Every year on the 14th February we celebrate this day by sending messages of love and affection to partners, family and friends. Couples send Valentine’s Day cards, gifts and spend special time together to honour their love for each other.

Saint Valentine was a priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd century and performed secret illegal marriage ceremonies. His formal name, Emperor Claudius was a pagan the illegal marriages is what led to him being imprisoned. But even in prison Valentine cared for his fellow prisoners and his jailer’s blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine cured the girl’s blindness. Just before being executed, he wrote to her a love message “from your Valentine”. A message that we write even today.

Valentine was executed on the 14th February 270. The practice of sending love messages developed into people sending special cards expressing their affection. Originally these cards were beautiful creations that were handmade by the sender and individually designed to show how much they loved the recipient. They were often decorated with pictures of Cupid, hearts and flowers and trimmed with lace and ribbon.

Today Valentines Day is celebrated in most countries, and different cultures have developed their own unique traditions. Valentine’s Day is most commonly associated with romantic love, with millions of Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged each year. Gifts of flowers or a single red rose are sent with romantic messages, it is now normal for couples to exchange gifts as a sign of their love.

Marriage proposals are also popular on Valentine’s Day and quite often delivered creatively, such as after climbing to the top of a mountain or in a favourite restaurant.

So for this coming Valentine’s Day spoil your loved one with a gift that shows just how much you care. You’ll be celebrating in a way that Saint Valentine did nearly 2000 years ago.

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