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Valentine’s Day celebrates love and friendship. People in many countries and cultures celebrate the holiday or recognize a day similar to Valentine’s Day. The story of the holiday began hundreds of years ago. Today, this special holiday is celebrated on February 14th in several places. Making handmade Valentine’s Day crafts is a great way to show friends and family appreciation.
People all over the world enjoy Valentine’s Day, although people in the West celebrate it most. In Europe, people in Norfolk, England looks forward to the arrival of Jack Valentine who leaves gifts and candies for children. In Wales, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day, a holiday that celebrates the Welsh saint of love, on January 25th. In Guatemala, people celebrate Día del Cariño, or the day of affection. One of the most common practices around the world involves giving gifts of cards, chocolate and flowers.
The history of Valentine’s Day reaches back into Roman times. Two stories tell how the holiday came about. The first story involves the Roman emperor Claudius II who had difficulty finding soldiers willing to fight in his wars. He then cancelled all marriages because he thought the soldiers would not fight because they didn't want to leave their homes and families. Saint Valentine, a Roman priest, ignored the marriage ban and continued performing marriage ceremonies in secret. When Claudius II found out, he sentenced Saint Valentine to prison. Saint Valentine fell in love with a woman while he was in prison and sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.” He died on February 14th around 270 A.D.
The second story says that the holiday started to celebrate the queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, Juno. She also served the Romans as their goddess of marriage. During those times, boys and girls could not spend much time together. Each year on February 15th, the Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival. On the eve of Lupercalia, girls would place their names in a jar and boy would choose one name. The boys and girls spent time together until the end of the festival and sometimes, they fell in love and married later on. While no one is sure how Valentine’s Day came about exactly, in the United States, history credits Esther Howland with starting the Valentine’s Day card tradition in the 1840s. Today, companies sell more than 180 million Valentine’s Day cards each year.
Valentine’s Day games provide a source of fun and a great learning experience. Children can play traditional games, such as word searches, or interactive online games. Many Valentine’s Day games offer a learning opportunity; they teach children mathematics, matching and puzzle skills. In addition, children can play multiple player games with their important friends on this special day.
Making Valentine’s Day cards is a tradition for many people. Handmade crafts allow children to add their own special touch and provide a creative outlet. People around the world make Valentine’s Day cards, treat packages, paper flowers, cupcakes, signs and patterned paper for gifts, to name a few. However, creating artistic and colorful Valentine’s Day gifts provides the most fun. Children can create wall hangings their valentines can tack on the wall or make construction paper hearts with small candies attached. Making personalized gifts, such as lollipops, secret messages or bookmarks, places control of the product in the child’s hands.
Valentine’s Day worksheets deliver a fun and productive learning experience that helps children learn about the history and story behind this fun holiday. Printable worksheets cover a range of topics, including Saint Valentine, Rome and Cupid. Children can participate in a group project and work with their friends to complete the worksheets. Group projects offer an opportunity to spend more time with friends and family in celebration of love and friendship.
Written by:Betty Miller