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When First Valentine was Celebrated

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Saint Valentine's Day festival is celebrated in a big way in countries around the world. St Valentine's Day has roots in several different legends that have found their way to us through the ages. The St. Valentine the day is named for was, most likely, a priest in the 3rd century. He had been thrown in prison for his teachings. In prison, he was  interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II, who want to convert him into Roman paganism. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead.

Because of this, he was executed on February 4, 270. But before execution,it is believed that he was responsible for giving the jailer's blind daughter back her eyesight. The night before he was executed, he wrote the jailer's daughter a farewell letter, signing it "From Your Valentine." The phrase is still widely used on valentines today. In AD 496 Sain Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 as "Valentine's Day". Although it's not an official holiday, most Americans observe this day.

It wasn't until 1537 that St. Valentine's day was declared an official holiday. England's King Henry VIII, known for his ways of disposing of wives, declared February 14th a holiday.  In present times, Valentine's Day Festival celebrations are massive in several countries across the globe. The festival has emerged as a popular dating and gift-giving festival and therefore has a major social and economic significance.

It may be noted that Valentine's Day started as a romantic festival but today the festival has increased in scope. People therefore wish ‘Happy Valentine's Day' to parents, teachers, siblings, friends or any other person special to them. You can send candy to someone you think is special. Or you can send roses, the flower of love. Most people send "valentine" a greeting card named after the notes that St Valentine received in jail.

Probably the first greeting cards, handmade valentines, appeared in the 16th century. As early as 1800, companies began mass-producing cards. Initially these cards were hand-colored by factory workers. By the early 20th century even fancy lace and ribbon-strewn cards were created by machine.
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