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Love is in the Air…..

Love is in the Air....

Love is in the Air….Valentine’s Day – a time when love is in the air and couples express their undying affection for one another and with copious amounts of PDA (Public Display of Affection).

As with everything, however, there’s a flip side to this coin.  For every wide-eyed romantic looking to put his or her love on the line, there is the eye-rolling cynic criticising the day as absurd.  These are the people for whom the statement “Valentine’s Day was invented by the card shops to sell cards” becomes a personal mantra.

Every 14th February in the UK and other places around the world romantic gestures of flowers, chocolates, gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.  But who is this mysterious Saint and where did these traditions come from?

The Legend of St. Valentine

The Legend of St. Valentine – explains that the history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure.

Typical Valentine’s Day Greetings –

In addition to the UK, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, United States, France and Australia.  In the UK, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century.  By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.  Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged.  Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.  In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around £1.3 billion is spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent

A little Factoid for you….

It’s estimated 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 the Valentine exchange cards made in school activities are included the figure goes up to 1 billion and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines.

Love is in the air so I hope you have enjoyed this brief synopsis of Valentine’s Day and its origin and although I can’t help you find love, I can help you find the right job or the right person for the job!  Please call Christine Brannigan at Law Consultants on 01279 464 455 or email to discuss your job requirements further.

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