It was the third century AD. C. and those who enlisted in the army were prohibited from getting married, under the belief that they would thus enjoy better performance. In this scenario, the priest Valentin dared to unite couples in love, which eventually cost him a death sentence.
Two hundred years later, at the end of the 5th century, the Catholic Church recovered the history of Valentine's Day and institutionalized its celebration on February 14. From then on, romantic love began to be associated with the figure and myth of Saint Valentine, making him a defender and patron saint of lovers.
Over time, the celebration has become one of the most consumerist dates of the year, mutating into a commercial milestone with a global reach, thanks to the massive purchase of gifts and the romantic dates that are organized.
Flowers, heart-shaped items, cards, perfumes, stuffed animals, chocolates, candles are some of the symbols of what is popularly known as Valentine's Day, Love Day or Valentine's Day, but, in some parts of the world, the event It is celebrated in quite unique ways.
Due to the carnival celebrations, most Peruvians have the 14th as a holiday, so they can spend more time on the romantic festivity. A peculiarity of the South American country is that instead of giving roses, many opt for native orchids. Likewise, collective weddings are organized.
In Guatemala it is recognized as Día del Cariño and not only romance is celebrated, but also love for family, friends and co-workers. A colorful Old Love Parade, involving the country's oldest citizens, takes place every year in the capital as part of the celebrations.
One of the Cuban traditions is giving away chocolates, perfumes and stuffed animals, but what is really indigenous is the placement of the so-called "love mailboxes" in workplaces and schools, so that people can send letters of affection and love to friends and lovers.
Americans spend 18 million dollars on Valentine's Day and have a tradition, among multiple gifts such as chocolates, flowers and jewelry, giving cards to all their loved ones. They give it so much importance that icons of their identity such as the Empire State Building, in New York, have joined the party: 25 years ago they began to make official weddings inside the famous building on Love Day.
During February 14, women from countries such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and China are in charge of entertaining their partners, the most common gift being white chocolate. Just a month later, on March 14, White Day is celebrated, a tradition according to which men who received a present on Valentine's Day must reciprocate.
The rose can be considered the quintessential Valentine's flower, but in this Asian country quantity is what is really important: a rose translates as "you are my only love"; 11 mean "you are my favourite"; 99 convey that love is forever and 108 roses accompany a marriage proposal.
For several years, in the Philippines, massive marriage celebrations have been held on February 14 in which hundreds of couples take advantage of getting married in unison, sharing the moment with other lovers, in a peculiar interpretation of the romantic tradition.
Finland and Estonia
If you don't have a partner, this is the best place for you to celebrate February 14, because in this country the party is called "Friend's Day" and is celebrated with those people. The official flower is the pink rose, but cards or sweets are also given away.
Estonians also display love and friendship, with the particularity that single men and women have the "love bus" that they can get on for free to find romance.
Denmark and Norway
Danish men send funny anonymous poems to women. The so-called "gaekkebrev" are signed anonymously with dots - as many as there are letters in the name - and if the person who receives it guesses the name, he or she later receives an Easter egg.
On every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, the scene of the best-known love story of all time, is filled with hundreds of loving couples. Tourists usually leave their love letters under Juliet's balcony and, at the end of the day, the most beautiful one is chosen.
Winemakers' Day, as it is celebrated on February 14, is a tradition stemming from the pagan celebration in honor of Saint Trifon Zarezan, patron of wine, which consists of going to the vineyards to participate in a ritual, before crowning the best winemaker present. At present both festivities are mixed.
The pig represents luck in the European country, for which many natives resort to giving chocolates or other objects in the shape of the quadruped, taking into account the position in which they are represented, because depending on this the meaning varies from luck to luck. lust.
In one of the main cocoa-producing countries in the world, the Day of Love has become the day of chocolate, a party that aims to promulgate the benefits of the product and encourage its consumption.
It is also interesting that several countries celebrate romance and friendship on another occasion, such is the case, in the American continent, of Brazil, which awaits San Antonio, patron saint of marriage and matchmaking, on June 12, and of Bolivia, that takes advantage of the first day of spring, September 21, for the celebration.
Similarly, in Uruguay, February 14 is not as important as another October event where lovers and spring are celebrated, while in Colombia on the third Saturday of September the day of love and friendship is celebrated, which was previously known like Valentine's Day.
Argentina and Mexico have official friendship day, on July 20 and 30 respectively, although in both countries it is commemorated on February 14, in the southern land lovers do not usually send cards or hearts.
In Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, they prefer to celebrate love on May 1, when city residents visit Petrín Park and kiss under a blossoming cherry tree, following the tradition of a poem by the romantic author Karel Hynek Macha.
Wales also passes on February 14 and celebrates St. Dwynwen's Day on January 25, when men give girls wooden spoons with intricate hand-carved designs, inspired by the present brought by sailors after a long voyage on high seas. (Telesur) (Photo: iStock)