International dating trend heats hundreds british sign true love
Oh Valentine’s Day – the annual day of romance, roses, cards, hearts, chocolates and true love. Valentine’s Day is one of the most consumer-centric holidays of the year, with more than a billion Valentine’s Day cards sent annually, surpassing all other holidays except Christmas.
(Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)A model is seen backstage ahead of the Ashley Williams runway show during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2017 on September 16, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.Up to this point, we see the holiday had no 'official' romantic connotations, other than the implications that Saint Valentine himself was a romantic and that pagans drew lovers during Lupercalia.Over the coming centuries the holiday began to pick up romantic trends — Middle Age England and France, for instance, considered February 14th the first day of birds’ mating season, adding to the date’s theme of 'love'.The history of Valentine’s Day cards is a more modern story.Though vocal greetings were exchanged during the holiday’s 5th-century origins, writing and sending Valentine’s Day cards didn’t become common practice until the 1400s when the Duke of Orleans sent one to his wife from the Tower of London’s prison.America’s 'Mother of the Valentine', Esther Howland, is credited with the first homemade valentine cards, using elaborate lace, tapes and photos called 'scrap'.
Modern printing largely replaced the hand-written tradition in the 1900s, and in 1913 Hallmark began their first batch of mass-produced valentine’s cards. While countries like America, Canada, Mexico, France, England and Australia celebrate the typicaly Valentine’s Day traditions of cards, flowers, chocolates and fancy dates, some countries have some very unique traditions to celebrate the romantic holiday.
So, what should be the true meaning of Valentine’s Day?
There is lots of confusion on which Saint Valentine the holiday refers to — the Catholic Church has three saints with the name 'Valentine', and it is unclear which of the three is Valentine responsible for the original St Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Before Cupid was a chubby little angel who shot love arrows, he was the handsome Greek god of love Eros – it was the Romans who turned him into what has become modern-day Cupid.
Greek mythology is unclear on how Eros was 'conceived', but he was known for both his masculinity and his manipulation of both gods and mortals by toying with their emotions through the power of his golden arrows.
He sent her a love letter signed 'from your Valentine' right before his execution, thus originating the romantic sign-off still widely used today.