Monday, 22 April 2013

504 – Inge Löök’s Aunties celebrate Valentine’s Day

Card no 504 - Sini 
Merry Valentine's Day 
Country Card Sent From: Finland 
Place that Card Sender Lives: Lahti 
Date Received: 20th April 2013 
Distance Travelled: 1,191 miles 
Time Taken: 3 days 

This Inge Löök Aunties’ card is a Merry Valentine’s Day one. Unlike most countries Valentine’s Day in Finland is celebrated as Friend’s Day and has no romantic associations. Ystävälle means ’A Friend’. This is how describes it on their calendar page -

Valentines Day is celebrated all over the world on the 14th of February. In Finland this celebration arrived rather late, and was officially listed in the almanac in 1987. In Finland Valentines Day is called "Ystävänpäivä", which means "Friend's Day". Unlike many other countries where Valentines Day is mainly a day of "Romance", in Finland it is also the day when close friends send cards and gifts to each other, although it is a popular day to get married and engaged on. 

Even though Valentines Day came to Finland from the United States, its roots are visible in European folklore and in Catholic legends. The tradition of celebrating St. Valentines Day on 14th of February, dates back to ancient Rome, when Romans were celebrating Juno, the protector of matrimony and maternity. 

The name Valentine comes from saint Valentinus, the martyr, who's commemorative day has been celebrated on 14th of February, since the 350's. According to legend, Valentinus was conducting marriage ceremonies for soldiers, who were not allowed to get married, and was therefore acting against the orders of the military commanders. As a result Valentinus was arrested, and to show their gratitude, wives of the soldiers sent gifts, cards and flowers to Valentinus. He was executed on the 14th of February (Valentine's Day).

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