How is Valentine’s Day Celebrated Today?

Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year by millions of people in the US and across the world. It’s common for people in romantic relationships to arrange meals, give gifts or send flowers on the 14th February.

What Are The Most Common Valentine’s Day Symbols and Gifts?

Today, the most common symbols of Valentine’s Day are hearts, flowers and pictures of Cupid. The colors red and pink are used for almost all Valentine’s day material. Cupid, who in Roman mythology shot people through the heart, is a common symbol. This is because people in love are sometimes said to have been struck by Cupid’s arrow.

Popular gifts for Valentine’s Day include:

  • Teddy bears
  • Chocolates
  • Flowers
  • Jewelry

It’s also common for couples to spend Valentine’s Day evening together. Restaurants, movie theaters and hotels are all popular destinations. Weddings are also often held on the 14th February.

In the past, Valentine’s Day was mainly for couples in love. Today, many people give gifts to friends and family as well as romantic partners.

Why are Valentine’s Day Cards so Popular?

The tradition of sending cards on Valentine’s Day dates back at least four centuries, but it’s only in the last 100 years that it’s become so widespread. Millions of Valentine’s Day cards are produced and sent each year to partners, friends and family.

A legend says that this practice started because St. Valentine wrote a card on the eve of his death, which was signed “From Your Valentine.” Even though this story cannot be confirmed, sending cards is now a major part of Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Is Valentine’s Day an Official Holiday?

Valentine’s Day, despite its popularity, is not a public holiday in the United States. Public workers are required to work on the 14th and it’s uncommon for people to get the day off in private industries too. This is the same in many other countries, including the United Kingdom.

How is Valentine’s Day celebrated Around the World?

People in different countries celebrate Valentine’s Day in a variety of ways. These include:

  • In Brazil, Valentine’s Day is called “the day of the Enamored” and is celebrated on June 12th. Chocolates, flowers and other gifts are exchanged between couples.
  • In Vietnam, couples wear the same color or style of clothes on Valentine’s Day.
  • Japan celebrates Valentine’s Day twice. On February 14th, chocolates are given to boys by girls. Boys then give cookies to girls they like a month later on March 14th.

History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated by millions of people each year. On the 14th of February, many people buy flowers and gifts for loved ones. But when did this tradition start? And why do so many people celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Who is St. Valentine?

Despite St. Valentine being one of the most well-known saints, little is known about his history and how Valentine’s Day began. February has traditionally been a month of romance, which goes some way to explaining the date of Valentine’s Day.

Part of the problem is that there are three official saints with the name of Valentine. All of these saints were martyrs, and the Valentines of Rome and Terni are officially honored on February 14th. A third saint called Valentine, who was martyred in Africa, is also mentioned in records.

One of the most likely legends is that Valentine was a priest who lived sometime between 300 A.D. and 400 A.D. in Rome. When the Emperor forbid single men from getting married because he thought they made better soldiers, the legend says that Valentine continued to marry couples in secret. Eventually he was discovered and put to death.

An additional part of this story is that Valentine, on the eve of his execution, sent a card to himself after falling in love. This is said to have been the first Valentine’s card, and was signed “From your Valentine.” Whether there’s truth to this story, or any of the legends surrounding Valentine’s Day, is difficult to tell.

When Was Valentine’s Day First Celebrated?

Valentine’s Day became associated with romance during the Middle Ages. It’s likely that the day was recognized before this, but probably not in a romantic way. It wasn’t until the 15th century that the day began to be associated with love between couples. During this time the first Valentine’s cards were sent, and lovers expressed their affection with flowers and other gifts.

Mass production of Valentine’s Day cards didn’t begin until the 19th century. Today, the holiday is surrounded by a huge commercial industry. It’s estimated that 25% of all cards sent each year are sent on Valentine’s Day.

It’s not known why the 14th February was chosen to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some people believe this was the anniversary of the saint’s death. Others believe it was chosen by the church to interfere with a pagan ritual that occurred on the 15th.

How Martin Luther King Day is Celebrated Today

People often celebrate Martin Luther King Day by volunteering to help charitable causes, or by teaching children about Dr. King’s life and achievements. Unlike many other holidays, Martin Luther King Day is relatively new. That means there aren’t many established traditions surrounding the day, aside from the goal of promoting racial equality among all Americans.

Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday in the United States nearly three decades ago , but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that all 50 states recognized it as an official holiday. South Carolina was the last to officially recognize the day and provide paid holiday to all state employees. Before this, each employee had to choose between Martin Luther King Day and three other holidays.

In recent years, the holiday has become known as the Martin Luther King Day of Service. This new purpose for the holiday was started by Senator Harris Wofford and Congressman John Lewis, with the aim of following the ideals of Martin Luther King. King always promoted equality amongst all Americans, and by assisting charitable causes people can help further his ideals.

The idea is that people use their paid holiday to help others, either through working on community projects or taking part in charitable events. Citizen action groups often ask people to volunteer on Martin Luther King Day, along with charities and other worthy causes. There are many websites setup to help people find projects to join, and people of any age are welcome. Popular projects include helping in kitchens of homeless shelters and caring for senior citizens.

Students and pupils are often taught about Martin Luther King, Jr., including his life, achievements and the history of racial equality in the United States. Particular focus is given to the history of racial segregation. Many people believe it’s important for all children to know and understand the struggles of Dr. King and those who campaigned for racial equality, as this helps to promote respect and understanding.

There is a lot of variation in how the holiday is celebrated in different states. Some states recognize the day as an independent holiday, while others celebrate it in combination with other holidays. In Arizona, for example, the day is combined with Civil Rights Day. Some states also combine the holiday with the birthday of Robert E. Lee, who commanded the Confederate army during the American Civil War.

History of Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King was one of the most important civil rights leaders in the history of the USA. On Martin Luther King Day, people celebrate his achievements, particularly his success in fighting for racial equality. The day is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year.

Who Was Martin Luther King?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the United States. King was a Baptist minister, but became passionate about civil rights early in his life. He was involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, for example, and committed to a number of equality causes throughout his lifetime.

King’s most famous speech has become known as the “I have a dream” speech, but this was just a small part of his campaigning to end racial inequality and segregation in the United States. His ability to rouse emotions and response through speech, however, was one of his biggest strengths.

King always advocated non-violent protests. For this reason, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and was the youngest person to be bestowed with this honor. King was assassinated in 1968, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

History of Martin Luther King Day

In 1979, state senator Edward Brooke and US Representative John Conyers proposed that King’s birthday should be a national holiday. This initial vote failed by five votes, but the idea continued to be discussed by both Democrats and Republicans.

Today, it’s surprising to think that Congress voted against forming a holiday to celebrate King’s achievements. The two main reasons were the cost of paying employees for a holiday, and the idea that people who’d never held office shouldn’t have holidays in their honor. Other senators also argued that King didn’t achieve enough to be considered for such an important honor.

It wasn’t until 1983 that legislation was formalized to create a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Even then, some States refused to fully observe the holiday. It took until the year 2000 for all 50 states to formerly recognize the holiday.

In 1994 the day was designated as a “national day of service.” This differs from other holidays, as the organizers of Martin Luther King Day are keen to stress that it’s a “day on, not a day off.” As of 2007, around a third of employers give their employees the day off on Martin Luther King Day to pursue other forms of service.