Valentine's Day, or St Valentine's Day, is celebrated every year on 14 February. It's the day when people show their affection for another person or people by sending anonymous cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love. And traditionally on Valentine's Day in a leap year every four years women can propose marriage to their lovers!
The day gets its name from a famous saint, but there are several stories of who he was. The most 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 thought this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret.
When Claudius found out, Valentine was sentenced to death and thrown in jail. There, he fell in love with the jailor's blind daughter. His love and belief in God cured her blindness, and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed "From your Valentine".
The first Valentine message (apart from the one St Valentine wrote himself!) is thought to be a poem from Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415. He was captured at the Battle of Agincourt and was imprisoned in the Tower of London to await execution. But Valentine's Day didn't become popular until the 17th century.
By the 18th century it was traditional for people to swap handwritten messages of affection. Printed cards soon replaced these, making it easier for people to say "I love you" secretly. Valentine's Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a pagan fertility festival. The Romans had a festival called "Lupercalia" in the middle of February, officially the start of their springtime. As part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box.
They would be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they would even get married. The Christian church decided they wanted to turn this festival into a Christian celebration and decided to use it to remember the death of St Valentine too. Gradually, St Valentine's name started to be used mainly by men to express their feelings to those they loved.
Yaa Jackson, Ghana's female songstress is showing her love in this season to her followers on Instagram by posting these nice pictures of hers to demonstrate love. Love is a beautiful shown to all and this is how she expresses hers.
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