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Valentine Day Special, 14 Feb 2019 Day

February 14, 2019 by  

Valentine Day Special, 14 Feb 2019 Day, Valentine’s Day is here, with plenty of people sure to panic-purchase heart-adorned cards, bumper boxes of chocolate, bouquets of red roses and teddy bears wearing T-shirts emblazoned with cutesy messages in shops across the country.

Now heavily commercialised and laden with expectation, the annual event was once a day where people earnestly showed their love and affection for another person.

The oldest surviving Valentine’s poem was written by a prison-entrapped, pining lover: Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote it for his wife in 1415, confined in the Tower of London after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt.

However Valentine’s Day was celebrated for centuries before that. From who the saint was to the best romantic gift ideas, here is everything you need to know about Valentine’s Day.

When is Valentine’s Day?
The event falls on the same day each year. February 14 of course – which this year is a Thursday. Couples across the globe typically recognise the annual celebration by exchanging gifts, flowers and cards, although it it isn’t a public holiday in every country.

While Valentine’s Day is now heavily commercialised, the church originally decided to make the day a Christian celebration to honour St Valentine.

The feast of St Valentine of February 14 was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”

Who was St Valentine?
While the details of who St Valentine was are contested, one thing is agreed upon: he was martyred and buried on February 14 at the Roman cemetery on the Via Flaminia, the ancient road from Rome to Rimini.

What’s Cupid got to do with it all?
Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars.

Cupid is also known in Latin as Amor (“Love”). His Greek counterpart is Eros and he is just one of the ancient symbols associated with St Valentine’s Day, along with the shape of a heart, doves, and the colours red and pink.

He is usually portrayed as a small winged figure with a bow and arrow which he uses to strike the hearts of people. People who fall in love are said to be ‘struck by Cupid’s arrow’.

Why is the heart associated with love?
The heart was once associated with knowledge as well as feelings: Egyptians believed that the heart was the source of our memories, as well as our emotions. They placed so much value on the organ that they left it in people’s bodies during mummification, while throwing all other organs, including the brain, away. And they weren’t the only ones – Aristotle also believed that the heart was an organ of intellect.

This idea was widely accepted until Galen, a Roman physician, said the heart was more likely to be responsible for emotions than reason – apart from love, which was found in the liver.

When did Valentine’s Day become so commercial?
It was during the middle of the 18th century that Valentine’s Day started to take off in England, with lovers sending sweets and cards adorned with flowers, ribbons and images of cupids and birds.

Eventually huge numbers of printed cards replaced hand-written ones. In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City began mass producing Valentine’s Day cards.

What to write in a Valentine’s Day card
What message will you be writing to your loved one this Valentine’s Day?

If you’re thinking of just putting “Happy Valentine’s Day” and leaving it there – well, that’s fine. Not all of us can be poets. But if you wanted to go for something a bit more elaborate, why not take inspiration from some of the greatest love letters ever written?

Plus, if you want to quote the modern greats, look no further than Telegraph Culture’s collection of the best love poems ever written.

Why do some people leave anonymous cards?
This trend was started by the Victorians, who thought it was bad luck to sign Valentine’s cards with their names.

The Victorians also started the rose-giving trend. They were the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and have come to indicate passion and romance.

The best Valentine’s foodie gift ideas
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean buying out-of-season strawberries or boring boxes of chocolates – nowadays, there are more creative food gifts to show the love. From choux-art to cookery classes, here is how to woo the ravenous and romantic in style.

For foodies
Daylesford cookery school is offering an all-day class for couples on February 14, accompanied by a glass or two of wine from their sister estate in Provence, Chateau Leoube. Meanwhile, at Waitrose cookery school in London’s Finchley Road you can learn how to make Valentine’s cherry chocolate macarons.

How to woo your love interest on Valentine’s Day
On Valentine’s Day, sometimes a bunch of flowers won’t do – you need a grand romantic gesture, writes Helen O’Hara. For inspiration, here are some of the best ever captured on film:

His Girl Friday (1940) – The plan-within-a-plan
A real contender for the title of greatest rom-com ever, and certainly the quickest witted, the climax here sees star reporter Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) realise that her editor and ex-husband Walter Burns (Cary Grant) has engineered their quest for a scoop so that it also sabotages her plans to marry again. Instead of raging at such temerity, she falls gratefully into his arms. It’s a beautifully executed little twist, making it clear that the pair are in cahoots even when they’re apparently working against each other.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999) – The Shakespearean-ish sonnet
Heath Ledger’s grandstanding performance of I Love You Baby gets mentioned a lot in relation to romantic gestures in this film – but that’s a lark that’s relatively easy to laugh off. In terms of putting yourself out there for your other half, Julia Stiles’ Kat takes the bigger risks. First, she flashes a teacher to give Ledger’s Patrick the chance to escape detention. Then she reads a sonnet, no less, revealing her feelings for him to her entire class. The guts required are almost unthinkable.

Beauty and the Beast (1991) – The library
Belle (Paige O’Hara) isn’t particularly materialistic in this Oscar-nominated animation, but she’s as susceptible as the next bookworm to the gift of an entire, enormous library. This one comes with a convenient sofa by the fire and sweeping baroque staircases to shelves that stretch about 200ft. in the air. The fact that the Beast (Robbie Benson) – previously bad-tempered and hostile – presents his revelation with a charming degree of shyness and hope just makes it all the sweeter. He was originally cursed for his selfishness, so the thought counts all the more here.

Valentine Day Special, 14 Feb 2019 Day

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