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Your Guide to All Things Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and this beautiful holiday of love is a great way to celebrate love and affection in various ways, whether you be spending the holiday with your partner, your friends, your family, or even by yourself. Below is my all-encompassing guide to all things related to the holiday of love!

THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY

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The Catholic church recognizes at least 3 different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. The most well-known story is that of a priest named Valentine during the Roman Empire. During this time, the emperor Claudius II was said to have banned marriages for young men, as he believed that single men were better soldiers. A priest named Valentine defied this and continued to perform marriages during that time in secret. This disobedience eventually led to his arrest, and while he was in prison, it is said that he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter and wrote her a note signed “from your Valentine” before his execution, supposedly on February 14. 

MODERN DAY VALENTINE’S

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The association of Valentine’s day with romantic love comes from the history of the priest Valentine, but also from the writings of poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. In his poem Parlement of Foules, he links the holiday of Valentine’s with the mating season of birds, hence the idea of romantic love, too. As time went on, it became common for friends and lovers to exchange handwritten notes or other tokens of affection on Valentine’s Day. The tradition of sending notes and valentine cards became more widespread in the 18th and 19th century, with the mass production of cards. Later, in the 20th century, the holiday became extremely commercialized as the sales of greeting cards, flowers, chocolates, and other romantic gifts began to reach widespread popularity.

VALENTINE’S DAY AROUND THE WORLD

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated with dozens of varying traditions in different parts of the world, reflecting each culture’s diversity and how they approach love. In Japan, it is customary for women to give chocolates to men, and then a month later, on March 14th, men reciprocate by giving gifts back, often white chocolates. In France, the city of love is celebrated with couples taking romantic strolls along the Seine River, visiting the Eiffel Tower, and enjoying intimate dinners in the small, charming cafes of the city. In Brazil, the holiday is associated with the feast of St. Anthony, the saint of marriage, and he is believed to bring luck to couples. In the Philippines, the holiday is a popular day for weddings, and mass weddings are often organized as many couples tie the knot in large ceremonies.

ACTIVITIES FOR COUPLES

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There are dozens of activities that couples can spend doing together on this very romantic and festive holiday. Many couples often reserve a table at a favorite restaurant or cook a special dinner together to be able to have a romantic dinner date with each other. Another great idea is to have a cozy home movie night or even add a DIY craft night to that and make personalized gifts for each other to give at the end of the night. You can also head out and do different activities together, such as trying out a couples spa, a cooking class, or even wine or chocolate tastings at nearby bakeries, cafes, or vineyards. The opportunities are endless!

ACTIVITIES FOR FRIENDS 

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If you’re without a partner this year, that shouldn’t stop you from putting together a fun night with your girls to still celebrate the holiday. You can gather with friends and host a brunch, whether that be cooking together, ordering in, or dressing up and going out. You can also host some sort of outdoor adventure with them, or even go to a nearby bar or club and party through a fun karaoke night. The most important thing is to celebrate your friendship and have a memorable celebration!

Sharon Joseph
Sharon Josephhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-joseph-547586246
Hello! I am currently a second-year business management student at the University of Georgia. I have a passion for dance, trying new recipes, and traveling to new cities!

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