Antique Valentine's card
Also calledValentine's Day
Observed byPeople in many countries;
Anglican Communion (see calendar), Lutheran Church (see calendar) TypeCultural, Christian, commercial
SignificanceFeast day of Saint Valentine; the celebration of Love and affection DateFebruary 14 (in most countries, see text)
ObservancesSending greeting cards and gifts, dating
Saint Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, is observed on February 14 each year. Today Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them. The original "St. Valentine" was a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Modern romantic connotations were added several centuries later by poets. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.