Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.
There are numerous martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution. The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.
In Japan, Morozoff Ltd. introduced the holiday for the first time in 1936, when it ran an advertisement aimed at foreigners. Later, in 1953, it began promoting the giving of heart-shaped chocolates; other Japanese confectionery companies followed suit thereafter. In 1958, the Isetan department store ran a “Valentine sale”. Further campaigns during the 1960s popularized the custom.
The custom that only women give chocolates to men may have originated from the translation error of a chocolate-company executive during the initial campaigns. In particular, office ladies give chocolate to their co-workers. Unlike western countries, gifts such as greeting cards, candies, flowers, or dinner dates are uncommon, and most of the gifts-related activity is about giving the right amount of chocolate to each person. Japanese chocolate companies make half their annual sales during this time of the year.
Many women feel obliged to give chocolates to all male co-workers, except when the day falls on a Sunday, a holiday. This is known as giri-choko (義理チョコ), from giri (“obligation”) and choko, (“chocolate”), with unpopular co-workers receiving only “ultra-obligatory” chō-giri choko cheap chocolate. This contrasts with honmei-choko (本命チョコ, lit. “true feeling chocolate”), chocolate given to a loved one. Friends, especially girls, may exchange chocolate referred to as tomo-choko (友チョコ); from tomo meaning “friend”.
In the 1980s, the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association launched a successful campaign to make March 14 a “reply day”, where men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day, calling it White Day for the color of the chocolates being offered. A previous failed attempt to popularize this celebration had been done by a marshmallow manufacturer who wanted men to return marshmallows to women.
In Japan, the romantic “date night” associated to Valentine’s Day is celebrated on Christmas Eve.
In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is called Araw ng mga Puso in much the same manner as in the West. It is the most popular day for weddings, with some localities offering mass ceremonies for no charge.
Filipinos really value valentine’s day. Every side of the streets was full of red hearts and flowers flourishing love month’s era. In schools, offices, churches, everyone saves the day with lots of presents and gifts for each lover like Christmas giving.
Although some Filipinos have nothing to present, still Filipino couples prioritize more their relationship than kinds of stuff and celebrate valentine’s simple and happy. In rural areas, some serenade their lovers with songs of romance. Many go on dates or stay at home and celebrate privately.
In the Philippines, Valentine’s Day is called Araw ng mga Puso (Hearts Day), and it was celebrated in the same manner as the West countries. But usually, Pinoys prepares more local sweetness by simple cheap but treasurable moments.
Valentine’s Day greetings started in the middle of the 18th century when friends and lovers exchanged handwritten notes. 1 billion cards are sent each year worldwide, making heart’s day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year next to Christmas with 2.6 billion cards sent. The oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum, while the oldest known Valentine’s poem, written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415 to his wife, is in the collection of the British Library. Teachers receive the most Valentine’s gifts, followed by children, mothers, wives, and sweethearts.
Even municipalities and cities conduct parties and festivals which may add to the list of the couples to go. Much more memorable moments with parks, malls, restaurants and hotels which prepared the best theme and kinds of stuff for lovers.
Filipinos value love more than anything. They could sacrifice even their own lives just for the sake of their love. That’s why Filipinos are the most lovable and romantic country in the world. Happy Valentine’s day!
Credits to: Philippines, Pilipinas kong Mahal