Saturday, February 14
Bah, love bug!
Captain Blackheart here, reporting for duty. I provide comfort to those who strongly dislike Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day, also known as St. Valentine's Day or the Feast of St. Valentine, is a celebration observed on Feb. 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a public holiday in most of them.
St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valeninus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies.
Today, St. Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates St. Valentine's Day, but on July 6 and July 30. In Brazil, the Dia de São Valentim is recognized on June 12.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.
In Victorian England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards known as "valentines." In Europe, St. Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off St. Valentine's Malady.
Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.