And as the custom became established, so did the traditions of St Valentine’s Day. In the 21st Century, when we think of St Valentine’s Day we usually think of cards, roses and perhaps chocolates or exotic lingerie, but it was not always so. In particular because until the 19th Century people were in general poor and they had little means of buying gifts for their sweetheart, so various other ways of declaring love had to be found.
“Valentines flowers”:http://www.1800flowers.com/valentines-flowers-and-gifts-at-1-800-flowers.com were the obvious choice for sweethearts who had little money. They began to acquire meanings and associations, such as Snowdrops radiating hope and Forget me Nots being the sign of everlasting love and so on.
In some parts of the world carved gifts were made. For example in Wales, wooden spoons were carved and known as Love Spoons, since the man could demonstrate his dexterity and ability through skilful carving and this would then woo his intended.
Cards, as the symbol of St Valentine’s Day were relatively unknown until the 1800’s and even then they were mainly sent by the aristocracy, since few people had money to spend on such luxuries. However, what started off as being a tradition within the upper classes, soon spread and became very popular, particularly as the railway system improved postal networks.
*Valentine’s Day Around The World*
* In France, Valentine’s Day is known as Saint Valentin and celebrated in the same way as other European countries.
* Valentinsdag is the Danish and Norweigan term for Valentine’s Day. It is not really celebrated, although people do spend time being romantic with their partners.
* In Sweden, the day didn’t start being celebrated until the 1960s when florists launched the day to extend their commercial possibilities and today it enjoys a large sale of “valentines flower”:http://www.1800flowers.com/valentines-flowers-and-gifts-at-1-800-flowers.com sales on the day.
* The Finnish call it Ystavanpaiva which translates to Friend’s Day where the tradition is to remember one’s friends, rather than one’s loved ones.
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