Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them.
While the European folk traditions connected with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine’s Day have become marginalized by the American customs connecting the day with romantic love, there are some remaining associations connecting the saint with the advent of spring.
While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK, Valentine’s Day still remains connected with various regional customs in England. In Norfolk, a character called ‘Jack’ Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person.
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines.
The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010.
Valentine’s Day is considered by some to be a Hallmark holiday due to its commercialization.
“Singles Awareness (or Appreciation) Day” is a humorous holiday, celebrated on February 14 (although some prefer the 13th or the 15th to get away from the commercialism associated with the 14th). It serves as an alternative to Valentine’s Day for people who are single, that is, not involved in a romantic relationship.
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day or not at all, we wish you a great day filled with family and friends!!