A selection of Valentine’s Day gifts

Are you struggling for ideas on what to buy your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Here are some suggestions from Team db.

l-o-v-eThe origins of St Valentine’s Day are unclear, although there are a number of theories surrounding how this romantic day started.

One theory is that under the Roman Emperor Claudius young men were banned from marrying in order to make them better soldiers, but Valentine of Rome (a priest or a bishop) secretly carried out weddings. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s actions he ordered his death and Valentine is supposed to have died on 14 February.

In ancient Rome 13, 14 and 15 February were celebrated as Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival and this looks to be the main reason behind this day being a celebration of love.

Around 496 AD the pagan festival was still popular and, in what history records as a bid to turn the day away from paganism, Pope Gelasius declared 14 February to be St Valentine’s Day and a Christian feast day.

In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer wrote Parlement of Foules, which is generally recognised as the first time that St Valentine’s Day was linked to romantic love.

Although Chaucer’s writing saw St Valentine’s Day linked to love it wasn’t until the 19th century that it really took off as a day to send gifts and cards to your loved one. Some reports now claim that Valentine’s Day is worth over US$18 billion to the US economy alone, and more than £40 million was spent on Valentine’s Day cards in the UK last year.

Gifts, cards and romantic meals are now a common part of Valentine’s Day and here’s our guide to some ideas for what you can do for your loved one this Thursday.

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