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Today Valentine's Day is considered to be the feast of love and affection in the intimate relations between lovers. Symbols are small hearts in all forms, white doves and the winged Cupido helper of the love god(dess).

Originally the day was known as Saint-Valentine but historically about this saint almost nothing is known except the assumed date of his death on februari 14. Therefore this saint is not mentioned any more on the General Roman Calendar of the Catholic Church. In ancient Rome on februari 13-14 an archaic rite for fertility existed, "lupercallia", which was cancelled by the Pope in the 5th century. About Saint-Valentine no legends or references exist about romantic love.  Festivals in relation with love are celebrated in many countries on other data.

In literature we find a few fantasied connections between Valentine and romanticism. That's why in the 18th and 19th century in the Anglo-Saxon world the name Valentine was coupled to a custom of sending cards between lovers which became enormous popular. In the 20th century in America, by the exchanging of gifts it became a very commercialized festival, which was imported afterwards in many other countries (in Belgium mid-nineties). 

 

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