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Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, also known as St. Valentine's Day, is a holiday celebrated on February 14 where lovers express their affection through greetings and gifts. The holiday has roots in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Pope Gelasius I is said to have replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine's Day at the end of the 5th century, but the true origin of the holiday is uncertain. It wasn't until the 14th century that Valentine's Day became associated with romantic love. The holiday is named after either St. Valentine, a priest martyred in 270 CE who signed a letter "from your Valentine" to the jailer's daughter he had befriended, or St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop. A legend states that St. Valentine secretly married couples to spare them from war, connecting his feast day with love. Formal valentines started appearing in the 1500s, with commercially printed cards being used by the late 1700s. In the mid-1800s, the first commercial valentines were printed in the US, and they often depict Cupid, hearts, and birds, which symbolize love. Traditional gifts include candy and flowers, especially red roses, symbolizing beauty and love.
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