On February 14, of every year in the world, the Day of Love and Friendship is celebrated. A day when many exchange sweets, flowers and gifts between lovers, spouses and friends. In short, in different countries it is known as Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Day of Love and Friendship. But where does this tradition come from? That may remain a mystery. It is only known that it is an ancient festival that has been celebrated since the ancient times of the Romans and the kings in England.
A legend states that this day is due to Valentine, a priest who served in the third century in Rome, when the emperor of that time forbade marriage for young men. Because in his opinion, singles without family were better soldiers since they had fewer ties. Valentine realized the injustice, defied the emperor, and continued to perform secret marriages for the young lovers, later popularizing Valentine as the patron saint of lovers. But when Valentin was discovered, they sentenced him to death.
Others say that it is a Christianized pagan festival, since in ancient Rome the worship of the god of love, Cupid, whose Greek name was Eros was carried out. In this celebration, favors were requested from the god through offerings in order to find the ideal lover.
Although there is no exact truth, the story highlights Valentine’s appeal and qualifies him as a charming, heroic, and romantic figure. In this modern age Valentine is becoming more and more popular and famous. But we must not forget that with the passing of time, the celebration of friendship was also added to this celebration of love. So if people who are single and without a partner can celebrate the day with their favorite friends.
In Latin America
Throughout Central America, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, people celebrate the day of love and friendship, exchanging gifts from their secret friend, among friends and colleagues. Men give women roses, chocolates and serenades to show their love. In Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela it is a day when married couples celebrate their love and union. At night couples usually celebrate with a romantic dinner, although it is also celebrated with family and friends, and it is customary to give chocolates, flowers, cards and gifts to honor and honor friendship.
In North America
This same tradition came to the United States and in 1840, Esther Howland sent the first Valentine’s cards to relatives and acquaintances, which from then on became customary. Today even children participate by creating the famous friendship cards, which they give to their most appreciated friends, classmates and teachers.
In New York, Valentine’s Day takes place between red hearts, exotic restaurants and expensive gifts. The viewpoint on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building becomes a romantic setting for seven couples to perform their weddings or renew their wedding vows every February 14, becoming part of the Bridal Club of the famous skyscraper, having free admission on their anniversary day. To obtain the right to a wedding in the building, couples must send a request to Brides.com, recounting an anecdote of their relationship, linked in some way to the Empire State Building.
Other dates to celebrate love and friendship
– In Colombia, the Day of Love and Friendship is celebrated on the third Saturday in September. The tradition of the game of secret friend, or invisible, is common.
– In Bolivia the so-called Day of Love and Friendship is September 21. It is the first day of spring and traditionally wedding couples exchange flowers, gifts and cards.
– In Brazil, the so-called Valentine’s Day, the wedding day, is on June 12, in memory of Saint Anthony of Padua, a saint famous for being a matchmaker. Wedding couples exchange gifts and cards.
– The Jews have their Tu BeAv, feast of the month Av, on the 15th of the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar, which falls between July and August of the Gregorian calendar. Legend has it that it originated with the cancellation, on a 15th of Av, of an old prohibition. A Jewish man could not marry a woman from another Jewish tribe, he could only do it with one of his own tribe, hence that moment is remembered as “Valentine’s Day”.