Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the world’s most romantic country: France
Throughout the world, 14th February is the day we celebrate our feelings of affection for our boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, husbands and wives.
Some claim that the roots of today’s annual card and teddy fest go back as far as ancient Roman times and the festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually between 13th and 15th February. Pope Gelasius I declared it a Christian feast day in 496, the feast of St. Valentine.
France has a reputation as one of the most romantic countries of the world, this even dates back to the Middle Ages, where there was the strange custom of ‘une loterie d’amour’ (love lottery) to celebrate the day.
This ‘love lottery’ consisted of single men and a women of all ages entering houses opposite their own and taking turns to call out to one another until they were paired off. If the men didn’t like their match, they would simply leave the woman for another man to call!
As part of the tradition, the women who didn’t find a match went to a big ceremonial bonfire in which they burned pictures and objects of the men who rejected them, while swearing and hurling curses at the opposite sex. This tradition was eventually banned by the French Government because of how wild and unmanageable the whole event usually became.
The first written ‘valentine’ is usually attributed to the French Duke of Orleans, Charles, imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. He reportedly passed the time by writing romantic verses to his wife. By the 16th century, writing valentines (known as carte d’amitiés in France) became commonplace.
French people take Valentine’s Day celebrations very seriously. About 60% of the French population follows the celebration every year and just know how to do it right…
Like in the UK, cards are set to be the most popular Valentine’s Day purchase in 2015.
Why not be spontaneous and travel to the French village of love, Saint Valentin?
The charming village of Saint Valentin, located in the Indre department is well known by many French and international romantics. Each year, a celebration takes place around 14th February to celebrate love. During that time, the whole village is decorated with flowers, especially red roses.
The public gardens, ‘jardins des amoureux’ becomes the place to go; you can get married, pin your love notes on the “Tree of Vows”, commemorate your love on the “Tree of Eternal Hearts” or even plant a tree that will flourish and celebrate your love for centuries to come!
So why not make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable and take a trip to the most romantic place in France…
For more information about this most romantic of places go to: http://www.village-saint-valentin.com/saint-valentin (only in French – sorry!)