Opinions differ on the subject of Valentine's Day: where some like to put a shove on romance, others complain about another reason driven by commercial interests. You can find out what tradition is behind the "Day of Lovers" and what alternatives there are for singles.
When is Valentine's Day?
Valentine's Day is a fixed holiday in both the Anglican and Lutheran churches, which is always celebrated on February 14th. The day is not a public holiday anywhere in the world. However, the day 2020 falls on a Friday, so it might be worth it for couples to take the day off and make it a long weekend.
Where does Valentine's Day come from?
Bad tongues claim that Valentine's Day is an artificial holiday that the flower and chocolate industry started to increase sales in the first months of the year. In fact, the day has a long tradition: February 14th in England and France has been celebrated as a festival of youth and young lovers since the late 14th century. It is believed that it originated in an ancient Roman festival, in which the young men drew a lot with the name of the girl with whom they celebrated a spring festival. Officially, however, the day is the day of Saint Valentin, an early Christian martyr. The priest is said to have carried out Christian wedding ceremonies in Rome in the third century AD, despite the prohibition of Emperor Claudius - even among soldiers from the emperor's army. This was tricky firstly because Christianity was a forbidden religion at the time, and secondly because the soldiers from the imperial army were not allowed to marry. According to tradition, he was executed on February 14th. In any case, this day was included in the general calendar in 469 by Pope Gelasius I.
Another theory is that Valentine's Day is based on the medieval belief that wild birds start mating on February 14th. In France and England, young couples were also said to have been chosen by the lot as "Valentin and Valentine" for one another in the 14th century and were supposedly able to live like fiancés for a year.
Many generations have enjoyed the prophecy that the first man a girl sees on Valentine's Day in front of her house is also her future husband - which is why the day is also called Vielliebchentag. In England, all sorts of love oracles were also interviewed: young men and women drew the names of their future.
In the Middle Ages, February 14 was also the day of the great feasts of seafarers, guilds, guilds and brotherhoods. The actual carnival season supposedly began with Valentin with big balls, artist and mask festivals.
Valentine's Day gifts: why is there this tradition?
In the Anglo-Saxon region, Valentine's Day has been a tradition since the middle of the 19th century, when at least little greetings are exchanged. In the UK, cards with pictures and poems were sent as Valentines - often anonymously - and the custom soon spread to the United States. As early as 1868, the chocolate maker Cadbury’s launched heart-shaped boxes of chocolates for the occasion. By the way, the British and the Americans donate cards and sweets not only to their loved ones: in the United States, even elementary school students distribute self-made cards to their school friends. As with many other public holidays, a small gift industry has grown into a larger gift industry, so that a variety of items are now offered in a Valentine's Day version.
In Germany, where Valentine's Day has even less cultural relevance, on the other hand, it is not a must to give the partner something on February 14th. Rather, what matters is the tradition that has developed in the respective couple. However, it is becoming increasingly widespread: According to a survey by the Statista Institute in 2018, 58.2 percent of the men surveyed and 50.8 percent of the women planned to give something away for Valentine's Day. In Germany, an average of around 50 euros is spent on this. Classic gifts for Valentine's Day include sweets, jewelry, linen and flowers. St. Valentin is said to have given flowers to the secretly married couple with flowers (from his garden) - but the flower industry is earning good money with this: On 14.2. Florists' sales are on average 400 percent higher than average, flowers and bouquets are 8 percent more expensive.
Special offers for Valentine's Day
Many restaurants and hotels offer special packages for couples for Valentine's Day. These can be special menus, special wellness offers or couple prices. In retail and online retail there are gift sets tailored for Valentine's Day, for example in the area of care and beauty, but also with sweets * or champagne *. They also like to lure with discounts, for example on fragrances.
For example, the perfumery chain Douglas offers a “gourmet voucher” * from a value of 69 euros, with which two dishes can be eaten at more than 4,000 restaurants for the price of one. Anyone who spends more than 89 euros will receive a "Valentine's Bag" with six small goodies.
Online mail order company Amazon offers a discount of up to 40 percent on its own brands, including the Fire TV Stick 4K Ultra HD (34.99 instead of 59.99 euros) *, the Amazon Echo (74.99 instead of 99.99 euros) *, various kindles or a bundle of the ring doorbell 2 and Echo Dot * (129 instead of 258.99 euros).
Are you not thinking of an electronics store at the "Lovers' Day"? Oh well. Several retail chains, including MediaMarkt and Saturn, advertise Valentine's campaigns, where romantic products such as DVDs, games or televisions are then offered at a special price.
On Valentine's Day, singles can either take actress Emma Watson for example and celebrate the relationship with themselves. Or on February 13th, the so-called "Galentine's Day", gather a few favorite people and celebrate the friendship with each other. The latter is actually a made up holiday. But that's what many people say about Valentine's Day.
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