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A Short History about Valentines Day for Kids

Do you know what happens on the 14th of February every single year?
What is the reason the certain people exchange gifts, chocolates, cards, and flowers?

This is done to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It's always a lot of fun to get cards, notes or even some sweets on this day, but why do we do this? Surprisingly there is a lot of mystery about both Valentine’s Day and the Saint who is linked with the celebration.

Legend 1

One of the stories says that the original Valentine was a priest a very very long time ago. It’s said that the Emperor Claudius II had outlawed marriage because he thought that only unmarried men make the best soldiers, however Valentine continued to perform marriages for many young couples in secret, when the Emperor found out her sentenced Valentine to death!

Legend 2

Another story says that Valentine sent the first Valentine’s greeting from prison to the daughter of the jailor. It is this young lady who visited him and brought him food and books while he was waiting for his execution. It’s said that they fell in love and the one letter he wrote to her before he died was signed, from “your Valentine”.

Does this expression sound familiar to you now? It should, because it is seen and used today on almost all Valentine Day cards. It also helps to explain why this saint is associated with love, friendship, and romance.

There is a Valentine message that still exists although it was written almost 600 years ago. It was a poem written by Charles, the Duke of Orleans. He composed it for his wife while he was being held in the Tower of London. You can see it today because it is a part of the manuscript collection at the British Museum. Even good King Henry V wrote a Valentine message to Catherine of Valois. Well, he did not do the actual writing, because he hired someone to compose the note for him!

Esther A. Howland is credited with being the one who first began making and selling American Valentines. She began offering these ornate and fanciful greetings for sale in 1840. The beautiful and unique cards were made with laces, coloured ribbons, and small coloured pictures.  Cards have changed over the year but people still look forward to receiving and exchanging them on the 14th of February.

Valentine’s Day is now the second largest holiday for cards and gifts. There are over 1 billion cards that are now bought annually. Almost 90% of the cards are bought by women, but gentlemen still buy the most chocolates and flowers to give as a Valentine’s Day present.


This is an original news article © The Kids Window

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