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Valentines A Brief History.

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February 14th otherwise known as Valentine's Day is celebrated all around the world when admirers from afar and lovers send flowers, chocolates, cards and gifts to their loved one in the name of St Valentine. It's an age old tradition which has adapted and changed over the centuries.

The history is a little vague, although February has for many centuries been celebrated as a month of romance and love and the Valentine's Day that we are familiar with today, contains both christian and roman traditions. The patron Saint Valentine was originally recognised by ancient Rome and is still recognised by the catholic church, who indeed have at least 3.

There are two similar stories mentioned in Roman legend and both end with execution of Valentine. The first Valentine from the 3rd century AD, was a priest who preformed secret and unlawful marriages after Emperor Claudius outlawed single soldiers marrying. When discovered Valentine was sentenced to death. The second suggests that Valentine helped christians to escape incarceration in Roman prisons. Imprisoned for his actions, legend has it that Valentine sent the first "valentine" greeting after he fell in love with a young woman who visited him during his confinement. She was possibly the jailor's daughter and before his death he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine".  An expression that is still in use today. A romantic story but how true this legend is, or if they were two separate events, we will never know. 

Interestingly Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy as well as travelling and or course more famously engaged couples and happy marriages. Rather unromantic and a bit macabre, a flower adorned skull of St. Valentine can be seen on display in the Basilica of Sante Maria, Rome, Italy. Other skeletal parts are on display in Czech Republic, Ireland,Scotland, England and France. 

It is also said that the English poet Chaucer may be have been responsible for Valentine's Day being February 14th. In 1375 he links the 14th as the day when there are celebration of a St Valentine's feast and refers to birds and humans come together to find a mate in his works "Parliament of Foules". 

A Valentine's note also exists from Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415 after the Battle of Agincourt. The manuscript is part of a collection in the British library but it is not until the 18th century that it become popular to exchange hand written notes and small gifts and by the 19th century printed cards appeared. Fast forward to today and an estimated 1 billion cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day second only to Christmas.

The colour red is a symbol of passion and danger and at Attavanti we have a fabulous range of red bags to make your day. An ideal Valentine's present. Whichever way you celebrate, have a romantic Valentine's Day. 

Carbotti Adria in red

Anna Cecere Jewel in red

Pratesi Versilia in red

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