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Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love and affection. Traditionally, this observance brings joy and warmth to the middle of winter and is symbolised globally by hearts, flowers, chocolates and messages of enduring affection. Often, lovers will exchange cards, gifts and sentiments while single people may also use this occasion to express adoration to people they secretly admire. Over time, Valentine's Day has evolved into a significant cultural, religious, and commercial holiday with its roots originating in ancient Roman and Christian traditions.
Specific to the European Union, Valentine's Day brings an interesting mix of traditions and customizations. The day's history weaves tales from St Valentine, a Catholic saint believed to have secretly wedded young lovers, thereby defying a Roman Emperor's edict. Some narratives also attribute the day to Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival. Today, Europeans often exchange Valentine notes known as ‘valentines’, expressing affection in written form. These traditions have expanded beyond romantic relationships, with many Europeans sending Valentine’s Day wishes to friends and family members.
In the European Union, the observance of Valentine's Day varies among countries but remains unified in its expression of love. In countries like Italy and France, the celebration can be rather intimate with couples setting up romantic dinner dates. In countries like the United Kingdom and Germany, a wider group of individuals including school children, teachers, friends and family exchange greetings. Valentine’s Day takes place annually on February 14.
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Facts about Valentine's Day
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