Beginning in the latter half of the 20th Century, Valentine’s Day began to become more and more popular in Australia. Today, 14 February is a widely celebrated day focusing on love, lovers, and charitable acts of love. Valentine’s Day is not an official public holiday here, but it is still a fun and meaningful day for many.
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The primary traditions include giving a romantic lover or spouse flowers, a box of chocolates, special gifts, or a Valentine’s greeting card, taking someone out to a restaurant for a date, going on a boat cruise, and having a picnic in a local city park.
The symbols of Valentine’s Day include Cupid, the Roman god of love, with his bow and arrow ready to strike the heart of his “victims” with lovesickness. Pink and red hearts also figure prominently.
However, Valentine’s Day has few established no roots in romantic love, angels, roses, chocolates or anything else we see on TV and in shop windows. Historically it was a commemoration of the life of a 3rd Century saint called Valentine who was martyred for his Christian faith in Rome.
So, what’s with all the romantic paraphernalia now? You can thank 14th-century English poet and writer, Geoffrey Chaucer, for that. He seems to have made the random connection between February 14th (Saint Valentine’s Day) and the time of year when nature in the Northern Hemisphere begins sprouting, singing, chirping, buzzing – a time of romance.