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February 14th is not a national holiday. Businesses and banks are open. Our mail is delivered. Children go to school and adults go to work. It is a normal day, with one difference. It’s Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love. Friends and loved ones give each other cards, candy, and flowers.
Valentine cards are one of the most popular gifts on this holiday. There are many different kinds. Some people make their own cards; others buy them. Women and men often give each other romantic cards. These cards say, “I Love You.”
Children and friends often share funny cards. They are not romantic. These cards may have funny jokes or riddles. Others may have a greeting like, “You’re a super friend!” Children give cards to friends at school parties. These cards are called valentines.
Flowers and candy are also popular Valentine’s Day gifts. Red is the color of love. Many people give red roses to boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, or wives. Valentine’s week is a very busy time for florists. In fact, it is their busiest time of year!
Many stores sell heart-shaped boxes of candy. Chocolate is found in most of those boxes. Pink and white M&M’s are another holiday treat. Don’t forget the candy conversation hearts! Both children and adults have fun reading the sayings on those pastel candy hearts.
The history of Valentine’s Day is a mystery. No one knows exactly why or when it began. Some believe it started thousands of years ago. In ancient Rome, a festival was held every year on February 15. On this day young men were paired with young women. They were a couple for the remainder of the year. Often these couples would fall in love and marry.
Christian tradition celebrates Saint Valentine. He was a kind, loving priest who secretly performed marriages in Rome. During this time, however, marriage was against the law. He was beaten and put in jail. He died on February 14, 270.
Today, Valentine’s Day is a day for love and friendship. It is a day to tell friends and lovers you care about them. It is also a day of big business for card stores, candy shops, and florists!