Nowadays this is one of the most romantic days in the year. It is celebrated on the February 14th and it is common to give the ones you love gifts such as chocolates, sweets, flowers – and special cards called Valentine’s Day cards.
According to the legend, in the dark times of the cruel Roman Emperor Claudius II Ceasar decided that an unmarried man without a family can better fight on the battlefield and thus he will be more useful for the Caesar. That is why he prohibited the legionaries to get married. St Valentine was just a priest and a battlefield doctor. He felt sorry for the young people who were in love and secretly at night blessed their marriage. Soon the authorities learned about Valentine and he was arrested and sentenced to death. In prison Valentine got acquainted with a beautiful daughter of his guard called Julia. The priest before the execution sent his beloved one a note, which told Julia about his feelings. It was signed “Your Valentine”. It was the first Valentine’s Day card in the history. Unfortunately, Julia read the note after the execution, which took place on the 14th of February, 269.
The holiday is very popular in the Western countries, but in Russia it started to gain popularity only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is considered a secular holiday. Young people use this day to say “I love you” to the boys or girls they like. Valentine’s Day cards are very popular. In most schools, colleges or universities there is special Valentine’s Day Post Service, which delivers cards within the facility. Young men usually invite their girlfriends on a romantic date. Usually young people exchange gifts and try to spend this day together.
In Russia in 2008 a new public holiday was introduced called the Day of Family, Love, and Faithfulness. It is celebrated on the 26th of June and many people see it as an alternative to the Valentine’s Day. However still it is the 14th of February that everybody – especially the young people in Russia – see as the day of love and romance.
This year in the loft-project “Etagy” in Ligovsky prospect there will be a fair called “love market”, where you can buy hand-made souvenirs connected with the subject of the holyday, and young men will be able to arrange bouquets for their girlfriends.
Near the metro station Gostiny Dvor there will be a place to register your eternal love. The event starts at 4 p.m. You will make an oath and receive a certificate. It is free of charge, but probably it will take a while.
And of course most of the cafes and restaurants will participate in the celebrations.
If you are in St Petersburg don’t miss a chance to celebrate the Valentine’s Day in the Northern Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world