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Welcome to the February 2018 edition of the DaniWeb Digest, our community newsletter that is exclusively for members of the DaniWeb family. As we fast approach Valentine's Day, here at DaniWeb we thought we'd take a closer look at the event; how it started, how it is celebrated and even what you can do if you hate it!
There actually was a Saint Valentine, or even three that are recognized by the Catholic Church. One Saint Valentine is said to have been a priest in third century Rome who defied a ban on marriage for young men decreed by Emperor Claudius II and married them anyway. Valentine was put to death for his romantic disobedience.
Fast-forward to the fifth century when the fertility festival of Lupercalia (dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus) was banned by the Christian church. Instead, February 14th was deemed to be St. Valentine's Day by Pope Gelasius. However, you need to jump forwards to 1415 when the first Valentine's message was thought to have been penned by the Duke of Orleans while a prisoner in the Tower of London after the battle of Agincourt. The love poem, to his wife, remains in the British Library to this day.
The first Valentine's Day cards appeared in Victorian England, elaborate items decorated with lace and ribbons. The first cards to be mass-produced are thought to have been sold by Esther Howland in 1840's America. Today, more than a billion cards are sent every year, second only to Christmas in terms of card volume.
Not every culture has celebrated Valentine's Day in the same way over the years. In Germany, for example, Valentine's Day cards feature pigs as a symbol of good luck. Meanwhile, in China, there is Qixi (which falls on a completely different day and month) where young women prepare melon offerings for a potential husband. In the Philippines there are mass weddings in shopping malls, and in Japan half of all chocolate is sold each year on Valentine's Day - bought by women as is tradition.
Not everyone celebrates Valentine's Day at all, and some even have anti-Valentine's celebrations. The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, is holding the 'Ballroom Blitz' as an anti-Valentine's party. Complete with a freak show, burlesque performers and hosted by the SuicideGirls it's sure to be, erm, different.
Here's a thought: how about showing how much you love that coder, web designer, geek or technology-obsessed person in your life by introducing them to DaniWeb for Valentine's? Not only will they be wowed by the fact you are paying attention, but will find tech support and friendship in a community that keeps on spreading the love the whole year through.
And finally, here are a few posts to show some love to even if you are a happily single geek! Pop over and see if you can help: