It's that time of year when the shops fill up with hearts and roses. But is Valentine's just for the romantics? More and more people are choosing to see Valentine's Day as a celebration of love. Whether it is for a friend, a pet or loved one. You don't have to be in a relationship to celebrate. And you certainly don't have to do it with hearts and roses. But celebrating love can't be such a bad thing, can it?
But where does it all come from? Who is Valentine?
Good questions! Traditionally, Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 14th February. It is a celebration associated with lovers, and believed to have first originated as a pagan festival about fertility. There are several ideas about who Valentine was, because there are actually three or more of them by the same name.
One suggestion is that he was a holy priest who performed illegal marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. He was imprisoned in 269 AD, and was tortured, and beheaded on 14th February. He later became canonised by the Catholic church, and there after Saint Valentine became known as the patron saint of love.
The act of giving gifts, such as flowers, chocolates and jewellery to loved ones grew over the years in popularity. By the 18th Century, this tradition had spread to many different countries. In Italy, children were given keys to ward off illnesses. In Norfolk, England, 'Jack Valentine' knocked on houses, and left sweets, and presents for the children living there. In Finland, 'Friend's Day' is celebrated, where they give gifts of love to their friends. In Japan, it's the women who give men chocolates, and in Wales they celebrate Dydd Saintes Dwynwen on the 25th of January, who is their patron of love.
It's fascinating to learn that Valentine's Day has, and still is, about many different aspects of love. There's the love for young children, friends, and family, and not just lovers. Even our family pets are getting treated to special gifts increasingly so on Valentine's day.
However you choose to celebrate, the key thing to remember is that it's about love. You can't go wrong with love - and maybe a bit of chocolate on the side. Speaking of which, take a look at the new Jin Designs Valentine's Day Gifts for this year. These are really simple, designed for friends, family and lovers to enjoy.
And if you're looking for something for your cat, they will certainly appreciate you for giving them the gift of a CatLoaf Cat Scratcher Bed. Enjoyed by cats all over the world.