Valentine's Day Date in the current year: February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Valentine's Day is a holiday observed in many countries around the world. Although initially it was a Christian feast, nowadays it is mostly celebrated as a secular holiday dedicated to romantic love and affection. It falls on February 14 each year.

There isn't much reliable information about Saint Valentine. According to the most popular legend, he was imprisoned and executed for performing weddings for Roman soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Saint Valentine is venerated by the Lutheran Church and Anglican Communion. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates his feast, albeit in July. The Roman Catholic Church has not celebrated the feast since 1969 when it was removed from the General Roman Calendar.

Saint Valentine's Day has been associated with romantic love since the High Middle Ages. In the 18th century, lovers started to congratulate one another on the occasion by sending special greeting cards (valentines), offering confectionery and presenting flowers. In the 19th century, mass production of valentines began.

Valentine's Day traditions spread throughout the world due to the fact that the British Empire possessed colonies in every part of the world. The impact of American pop culture helped increase the popularity of the holiday even more. Nowadays Valentine's Day is widely celebrated even in those countries where Christianity is not a predominant religion such as Japan and South Korea. In many Islamic countries, it is harshly criticized, some Islamic governments has even banned it.

Valentine's Day customs have not considerably changed since the 19th century. Couples go on romantic dates, exchange greeting cards and gifts. Some people see Valentine's Day as an occasion to confess their love to a person they have silently admired from afar. Sometimes people send anonymous valentine cards because they want to express their feelings but are aware that their love is unrequited.

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International Observances, Unofficial Holidays


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