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Buster Brown Valentine postcard by Richard Fel...
Image via Wikipedia

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/I would like to welcome all of my friends to my newest website Valentines Day All Year. As it was started on my Birthday, I felt that the first article should be about Valentines Days’ Birthday. Thank you for reading and please comment on any article you like or dislike.
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/Valentines Day, being among the most recognizable lay holidays in the United States, has been celebrated in some manner for quite a long time. Because of this, there are someĀ  popular misconceptions wrapped up in the history of Valentines Day, so many that occasionally it is hard to determine the true beginnings of the holiday. For those who are devotees of the holiday, living the history of Valentines Day All Year is part of the fun of celebrating it.
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/A Roman Holiday?
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/There are a great deal of myths about Valentines Day celebrations in addition to Saint Valentine himself, while they make for interesting stories, there is little truth to most of them.
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/One basic myth about Valentines Day is that its customs, such as the accent on love and the giving of valentines, is a continuance of traditions from a Roman holiday celebrated in the middle of February, called Lupercalia.
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/The reality about the history of Valentines Day as a romantic holiday is that the first instance of the feast of St. Valentine being affiliated with love is a poem published in the 1300s by Geoffrey Chaucer.
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/The association of Valentines Day with romance really is derived from the popularity of courtly love, which was an extremely romanticized and formal kind of method of expressing affection, one that included a mirroring of the concepts of feudalism, with man considering himself to be the liege subject of the woman he loved.
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/As part of this, in the 1400’s these love games went so far as to the formation of a Court of Love on February 14, which parodied actual royal courts, instead hearing cases about love.
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/Another key part of Valentines Day history, that of the first valentine, comes from this same century, with the oldest known valentine sent from the Duke of Orleans to his wife, a love poem while he was kept as a prisoner of war.
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/The Saint Himself
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/Another key feature of this same point in history is that the first known accounts about St. Valentine began to circulate in the 1400’s. Among these rumors stated that St. Valentine helped couples to marry when a Roman emperor banned them.
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/A different story talks of a Christian martyr who sent love letters to his jailer’s daughter, signed “Your Valentine.” While these stories are interesting, there is as a matter of fact no proof in the history of Valentines Day that these events really ever happened.
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/The moment in history that sets February 14th as a religious holiday stems from a decree by Pope Gelasius in 496, declaring February 14th as the feast of Saint Valentine. However, when declaring Valentine to be a saint, the Holy Father himself was evasive as to who Valentinus was or what he had accomplished.
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/The best guess that historians can come up as to his identity is one of three martyrs who died more than two centuries before the decree. So, even this key moment, the ultimate source of all Valentines Days in history, makes up speculation. But in spite of the myths and doubt about how and why Valentines Day began, history has shown it to be an enduring and popular holiday, still today.
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