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Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are some pretty photos that remind me of Valentine's Day and also a bit of history on how it is observed in the various countries in Europe.  Enjoy!

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Something warm to drink

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While sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts is traditional in the UK, Valentine's Day has various regional customs. In Norfolk, a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person. In Wales, many people celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen (St Dwynwen's Day) on January 25 instead of (or as well as) Valentine's Day. The day commemorates St Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers.

In France, a traditionally Catholic country, Valentine's Day is known simply as "Saint Valentin", and is celebrated in much the same way as other western countries.

In Spain Valentine's Day is known as "San Valentín" and is celebrated the same way as in the UK, although in Catalonia it is largely superseded by similar festivities of rose and/or book giving on La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day).

In Portugal it is more commonly referred to as "Dia dos Namorados" (Lover's Day / Day of those that are in love with each other).

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. The cut-flower industry in particular is still working on promoting the holiday.

In Sweden it is called Alla hjärtans dag ("All Hearts' Day") and was launched in the 1960s by the flower industry's commercial interests, and due to the influence of American culture. It is not an official holiday, but its celebration is recognized and sales of cosmetics and flowers for this holiday are only exceeded by those for Mother's Day.

In Finland Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into "Friend's Day". As the name indicates, this day is more about remembering all your friends, not only your loved ones. In Estonia Valentine's Day is called Sõbrapäev, which has the same meaning.

In Slovenia, St Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims.[62] A proverb says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots". Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Another proverb says "Valentin – prvi spomladin" ("Valentine — the first spring saint"), as in some places (especially White Carniola), Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.[63] Valentine's Day has only recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love was traditionally March 12, the Saint Gregory's day, or February 22, Saint Vincent's Day. The patron of love was Saint Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on 13 June.[62]

In Romania, the traditional holiday for lovers is Dragobete, which is celebrated on February 24. It is named after a character from Romanian folklore who was supposed to be the son of Baba Dochia. Part of his name is the word drag ("dear"), which can also be found in the word dragoste ("love"). In recent years, Romania has also started celebrating Valentine's Day, despite already having Dragobete as a traditional holiday. This has drawn backlash from several groups, institutions[64] and nationalist organizations like Noua Dreaptǎ, who condemn Valentine's Day for being superficial, commercialist and imported Western kitsch.

Valentine's Day is called Ημέρα του Αγίου Βαλεντίνου in Greece and Cyprus, which translates into "St Valentines day". In the Orthodox church there is another Saint[which?] to protect people who are in love, but for Greeks Valentine's Day is more popular.

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Wishing each and every one of you a very special and happy Valentine's Day! Don't forget to kiss your sweetie!  :)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Valentine is a festival of love and romance and exchanging gifts on this day represents a token of love.Chocolates are best gift which we can give to our loved ones.

  3. You have chosen some lovely pics as ever. Hope you have a lovely Valentines Day too! M xx

  4. Gorgeous images Kris! I have no recollection of Valentine's Day in England but I remember it well in Canada...those were the days when you were allowed to choose who you sent Valentine cards to! When my boys were growing up, if they chose to pass out cards they had to have one for every child in the class...had to be politically correct I guess! My hubby usually gets me flowers since I'm not much a chocolate eater:)

  5. Lovely images Kris- and you were spot on describing how we celebrate here in Denmark. I love finding out what other cultures do, and how they celebrate. Happy day to you,

  6. Kris,
    I am lovin' all the pink on here. The stories on how other countries celebrate Valentine's Day is so interesting to me. I loved the hearts dangling across the old building, the heart-shaped donut, and ahhhh, the red roses. Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day, Kris. This really brightened my day, as I am just getting over a flu bug (which husband passed on to me last weekend).
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  7. Hi Kris
    we (I and my husband) never make celebration for Valentine's Day until now. I think that every day should be a day of love and we should celebrate love 365 days out of the year if we love each other.*LOL* So I will enjoy those wonderful images. My favourite picture is the first one. Looks really delicious!
    At the moment we have a very cold temperatur under zero....brr. It's too cold for me. I've heard news about the blizzard in the US Northeast. Really awful! It's unbelieveable how much snow have fallen there!
    Kris, have a beautiful Valentine's Day and take care.

  8. Kris, Have a lovely Valentines Day. I so like the pink heart-so delicate.

  9. This was beautiful!! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day doll!! It stayed nice here for most of the day, so that was enough for me :))) The girls got little gifts from us & we had a quiet dinner in :)) The sun is shining this morning, so I'm hoping the weather will gradually be nicer. The cold winter tends to chill you from the inside here because of the many rainy days. I don't mind the cold, just the rain, after a while it's too much. But, I am excited. I hope you have a marvellous weekend to come doll xx

  10. Hi Kris: A little late here, but I'm just getting to my blog reading! Hope you had a nice day! and have a lovely weekend....

  11. Kris,
    YOU'VE BEEN TAGGED! There is a game going around where you reveal a few things about yourself, and I picked you as one of the ones to play - you can check it out on my latest post. If you don't want to participate, that's fine. I just had to pick a few sweet blogfriends to join in the fun. Happy Tuesday.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  12. i’m rather late for Valentine, just got back from a long trip:) this is a lovely post, nice collection of images, and nice to see people celebrate all ove over world...

  13. Hi Kris! I was just thinking about you and realized I hadn't seen a post from you in a really long time! I checked my blogroll and couldn't find your blog in there. I hope everything's okay with you! Hugs:) Victoria

  14. Hi Kris, I am just thinking about you. It's been a very long time since I've read your last post. I hope, everything is well with you.
    I wish you a great week!

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  17. Kris...we miss you. Haven't heard from you for a bit. Hope all is well. XoXo, Iris

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