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Valentine’s Day: unusual facts about this holiday

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Traditions, records and extraordinary ‘valentines.’

The oldest valentine in the world
There is a legend that the very first Valentine card in the world was written by Saint Valentine before his execution. But the officially registered love note, dated February 14, 1415, belongs to the Charles, Duke of Orléans, who wrote love letters to his wife while he was in the Tower of London. This Valentine is now kept in the British Museum.

The fabulous balls of lovers in the Russian Empire
In Western Europe, Valentine’s Day began to be widely celebrated as a holiday of love as early as the 13th century. This was facilitated by advertising in English and French literature. Looking to the West, Russian nobles began to celebrate the holiday. Girls made valentines from silk, with dried or fresh flowers, which they gave openly or secretly to their chosen one.

There was also a tradition on this day to arrange Balls of lovers, especially if there were girls of marriageable age in the house. Potential suitors were necessarily invited there. By the way, this tradition brought success. Quite often after this holiday many weddings occurred. In modern Russia, the holiday became popular again in the early 90s of the last century.

The most expensive Valentine
The most generous declaration of love in the history of the holiday is considered to be a Valentine, presented by the Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis to his beloved opera singer Maria Callas in 1960.

The Valentine was a heart-shaped jewelry made of gold, emeralds, diamonds and other precious stones and was gift wrapped in a mink coat. The cost of this valentine was approximately $ 300,000.

Men’s holiday
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is solely a men’s holiday. On this day, women give gifts to their beloved. The most popular gifts are roses and chocolate, but more expensive gifts are also considered appropriate. But in March it is the turn to congratulate women. The ladies holiday is called White Day.

Forbidden day
In some Muslim countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, Valentine’s Day is officially banned. Religious and statesmen call it a “lascivious” holiday and believe that it promotes sin and has a detrimental effect on traditional moral values. By the way, the Orthodox Church adheres to the same opinion. The clergy have repeatedly tried to ban Valentine’s Day in Russia, but the holiday is still popular in the country.

A guide to writing valentines
Not all men can boast of eloquence and a rich imagination for writing love letters, and therefore especially for them in England in 1797 was published A Young Man’s Guide to Writing Valentines. In fact, it was a collection of short congratulations in verse and recommendations for writing letters to beloved.

Mass wedding underwater
February 14, 2001 marked a world record.

On this day, near the island of Kradan in the southern part of Thailand, 34 couples from 22 countries exchanged wedding vows under water at a depth of ten meters. This event is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest underwater wedding.

Record kisses
Another “love” record was set on February 14, 2010 in Mexico City. There, almost 20 thousand couples merged in a kiss at the same time, or more precisely, 39, 897 participants. But the longest kiss on Valentine’s Day was registered in 2003 in Thailand. There, a couple of lovers touched their lips in a kiss for 58 hours 35 minutes. ~ Ekaterina Gura, Source

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