Monday, 8 February 2010

Valentine’s Day Gifts – 14th February – Boyfriends, Fiancees & Husbands…

1. Officially known as Saint Valentine’s Day, this holiday was named after an early Christian martyr.
2. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by giving gifts and greetings cards known as ‘valentines’.
3. The holiday first became associated with romantic love through the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
4. The sending of Valentines became highly fashionable in nineteenth-century.
5. Today, the U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend on average twice as much money as women.
6. In the U.K. Valentine's Day has various quirky regional customs. In Norfolk, for example, a character called Jack Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he leaves treats, many children are frightened of this mystical person.
7. In Wales, many people celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen, St Dwynwen's Day on January 25 instead of or as well as the 14th February. The day commemorates St Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers.
8. In France and Spain, Valentine's Day is known as "Saint Valentin" and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.
9. In Portugal this holiday is commonly referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" which translates as Boy/Girlfriend's Day.
10. Valentine's Day is celebrated in some Asian countries with Singaporeans, Chinese and South Koreans spending the most money on Valentine's gifts.
11. In South Korea, women traditionally give chocolate to men on February 14, whilst men give candy to women on March 14 which is known as White Day. On April 14 which is Black Day, those who did not receive anything in February or March go to a Chinese restaurant to eat black noodles and ‘mourn’ their single life.
12. In most of South America the Día del amor y la Amistad which translates as ‘Love and Friendship Day’ and the Amigo secreto, ‘Secret friend’ are quite popular and usually celebrated together on the 14 of February. This consists of randomly assigning to each participant a recipient who is to be given an anonymous gift, similar to the Christmas tradition of Secret Santa.
13. In Saudi Arabia, in 2002 and 2008, religious police banned the sale of all Valentine's Day items, telling shop workers to remove any red items, as the day is considered a non-Islamic holiday. In 2008 this ban created a black market of roses and wrapping paper.

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