Valentine`s Day is not only a great romantic holiday that is celebrated on February 14. Many people express their affection and feelings to loved ones by sending valentines, giving presents and arranging dinners. Recently this holiday acquired more civil status – on that day Americans congratulate not only their spouses or partners but also relatives, close friends and colleges. As in many countries numerous weddings falls on February 14 but the largest number of weddings is observed surely in Las-Vegas, Nevada. Today every fourth greeting card in the USA is a Valentine`s Day card.
It is estimated that on this holiday the largest number of postcards and gifts is acquired. Long before the occasion interior of shops and markets wear a holiday look to attract customers. The most widespread presents are postcards, fresh flowers, mostly roses, chocolate and candies. However, in some cases people present such generous gifts as jewelry. Dinners in many restaurants are held in a special atmosphere.
Dinners and dancing parties in honour of Valentine`s Day are organized throughout the country. Many couples arrange private parties at home and in restaurants. A few weeks before the holiday American schoolchildren in all schools of the country start making heartlets of paper-mache which they then paint, decorate with various inscriptions and present to people deprived of care and left to their own fate – disabled, lonely or just unhappy people. People willing to start a romantic relationship with somebody can use the opportunity to make him aware about their feelings, mostly anonymously.
Government offices, shops, educational establishments and other organizations don`t stop working on that day. Public traffic systems run according their usual schedule.
Concerning background of the holiday there are different saints known as Valentine who relate to February 14. The Pagan fertility medieval festival that took place in all of Europe near the end of winter possibly laid the foundation of Valentine`s Day. According to tradition, lovers exchanged notes expressing their affection and love. Commercial valentines were started to produce in the middle of nineteenth century.