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What is this Valentine’s Day?

Many people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day by showing appreciation for the people they love or adore. Some people take their loved ones for a romantic dinner at a restaurant while others may choose this day to propose or get married. Many people give greeting cards, chocolates, jewelry or flowers, particularly roses, to their partners or admirers on Valentine’s Day.

The day gets its name from a famous saint, but there are several stories of who he was.

The popular belief about St Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD.

Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret.
When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”.

Having a particular Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a Roman festival.

The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February – officially the start of their springtime.

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