Valentine's Day, while not a public holiday, is recognized as a day to celebrate romance and romantic love. The day (February 14) was to honor Saint Valentine, an early Christian saint. The transition to a day honoring love was started by the medieval English writer Geoffrey Chaucer (author of the "Canterbury Tales"), when courtly love (nobility and chivalry between knights and ladies) was popular in both literature and life. By the 1700's, Valentine's Day had become a day lovers exchanged chocolates, flowers, and greeting cards (valentines). Traditional symbols are hearts, heart outlines, doves, and Cupid (ancient Greek god who causes people to fall in love when they are hit by his arrows). These activities and symbols spread throughout the English-speaking countries by 1900 and have since become common practices. Since then, Valentine's Day (or local equivalents celebrated on days different from February 14th) have developed in many different countries.
For more information, visit these websites:
About Valentine's Day (Holiday Insights)
Valentine's Day - Facts, Origin, Meaning & Videos (History.com)
Valentine's Day History (Infoplease - one of our freely accessible resources)
Photo source: thefez.com (NF); Text: NF
As librarians, we are noted for lists of recommended books and items about various topics. Why should love stories be an exception?
6 Great Love Stories to Read this Valentine's Day (LiteraryTraveler)
20 Greatest Love Stories Throughout History (Town & Country) - Famous couples and lovers in history
50 Best Romance Novels of All Time (Reader's Digest)
50 Best Romantic Movies (Empire)
Best Romance Novels Ever Written (ProWriting Aid) aka Top 30 Romance Novels of All Time
Here are some books and e-books accessible to ASU patrons that discuss love, romance and Valentine's Day.
Text & selections: NF