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Valentines Day is an annual commemoration held on
February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate
companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian
martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope
Gelasius I in 500 AD. It is traditionally a day on which lovers
express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering
confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").
The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of
Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Valentines Day in Europe

In Denmark and Norway, Valentines Day (14 Feb) is known as Valentinsdag. It is not celebrated to a large extent, but many people take time to eat a romantic dinner with their partner, to send a card to a secret love or give a red rose to their loved one. In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts Day") and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industrys commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture. It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only exceeded by those for Mothers Day.

In Finland Valentines Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friends day". As the name indicates, this day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones. In Estonia Valentines Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning.

In Slovenia, a proverb says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots," so on February 14, plants and flowers start to grow. Valentines Day has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Nevertheless, it has only recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love is traditionally March 12, the Saint Gregorys day. Another proverb says "Valentin - prvi spomladin" ("Valentine — first saint of spring"), as in some places (especially White Carniola) Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.

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