Valentine's Day, is celebrated on February 14 every year. Originally a christian feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentine.
Several stories of marytrdom are connected to February 14. The most popular of which is of Saint Valentine of Rome, who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry as the emporer thought they should only love Rome. According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer and before his execution, wrote her a letter signed " From Your Valentine". A monocur that is still used on cards today.
While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK, it spread throughout the Anglosphere in the 19th century. In the later 20th and early 21st centuries, these customs spread to other countries, but their effect has been more limited than those of Hallowe'en, or than aspects of Christmas.
Let's take a look at Valentine's in a few different places.
In the United States, about 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange.
Valentine's Day celebrations did not catch on in India until around 1992. It was spread due to the programs in commercial TV channels, such as MTV, dedicated radio programs and love letter competitions, in addition to an economical liberalization that allowed the explosion of the valentine card industry. In modern times, Hindu and Islamic traditionalists have considered the holiday to be cultural contamination from the West and religious leaders have asked their followers to shun the holiday. Despite this though, Valentine's Day becomes increasingly popular.
The holiday was first introduced in 1936 and was aimed at foreigners residing in the country. However it later transformed to become an event where only women give chocolate to men and Japanese chocolate companies make half their annual sales during this time. In the 1980's a successful campaign launched March 14th as a "Reply day" where men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolate on Valentines Day. It was later named "White Day" for the colour of the chocolates being offered.
In Denmark and Norway, although February 14 is known as Valentinsdag, it is not celebrated to a large extent, but is largely imported from American culture, and some 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.