Ahhh Valentine's Day. The day of love and romance. Bored by seeing hundreds of posts written on gifts and flowers for valentines? Here are some interesting things you maybe didn't know about the day when Cupid takes aim.
Valentine Is The Patron Saint Of Plague And Epilepsy
The first thing you maybe didn't know about Valentine's Day is that it's not just about love and couples, it's also about neurological disorders and highly infectious diseases. The Catholic church acknowledges at least 10 figures named Saint Valentine, each with his own feast day, but the one traditionally regarded as the Saint Valentine was a third century Roman priest who lost his head in the year 269 under the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. Over 200 years later, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th the feast day to honor him, and from there Catholics began to pile on the patronage. According to Catholic Online, Valentine is the patron saint of a host of areas of life, including love, lovers, engaged couples, and happy marriages, as well as bee keepers, fainting, epilepsy, and plague.
South Korea Has A Love Holiday Every Month Of The Year!
The three most popularly celebrated being in February, March, and April. In February, the ladies give the men in their lives candy. In March, men return the favor with non-food gifts. And finally comes April and "Black Day", where the lonely souls who received no gift on either holiday eat black noodles to mourn their single lives.
Valentine's Day Is Banned In Saudi Arabia
Not everyone has love for Valentine's Day: In Pakistan, it's "a shameful day", in India a Hindu group built a massive bonfire fueled by Valentine's Day cards, in Saudi Arabia it's "a pagan feast" and for many years, that country's government-led Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices (also known as the mutawwa), was said to carry out inspections of public places like gift shops and hotels looking to confiscate evidence of Muslim couples participating in Valentine's Day.
Despite this, many people in the countries that officially shun the holiday as nothing more than Western immorality seem even more determined than ever to celebrate it. According to a young Iranian quoted in The New York Sun anxiously looking forward to Valentine's Day: "The crackdown only strengthens my position in rejecting the hard-line clerical rule." This is perhaps the only way to save Valentine's Day - ban it.
Wherefore Art Thou, Dear Valentine?
Romeo and Juliet are arguably the most famous lovers in literature. Shakespeare's classic couple inspired countless proclamations and ideals regarding romance. It's no surprise, then, that hundreds of years after the tale was written, people still fall in love with the characters. Verona, the city in which the play takes place, knows this fact all too well. The city reportedly receives about 1000 love letters on Valentine's Day, each asking for the heart of Juliet.
Not For Lovers
It's funny to think that most Valentine's Day cards aren't exchanged by people in love, but it's actually true. Spouses and significant others take the bottom spot among recipients of Valentine's Day cards. Apparently, children and mothers get these cards a lot more often than couples in love. Who gets the most cards on the day of hearts? Believe it or not, teachers! Kids are really sweet that way, aren't they?
Back in the Middle Ages, Valentine's Day was often celebrated with a little game. Young men and women would gather and draw each other's names from a bowl. Whoever they drew would be their Valentine. The men and women would then attach the names of their Valentines onto their sleeves, so as to display to the rest of the community who had their hearts that day. Incidentally, this practice is often regarded as the origin of the phrase "Wearing your heart on your sleeve".
Homicides And Beatings Spike Around Valentine's Day
The last thing you maybe didn't know about Valentine's Day is how dangerous it is. According to Gerald Falk in Murder: An Analysis of its Forms, Conditions, and Causes, the number of homicides and incidences of partner violence against women go up in the days preceding and following Valentine's Day, compared to a huge majority of other weeks in the year. Considering the level of stress involved, this isn't terribly surprising, since incidences of violence against women have also been shown to go up following natural disasters.
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