Articles
Valentine's Day
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A bowl of candy conversation hearts

 

Candy, flowers, heart-shaped notes—what’s not to like about Valentine’s Day? This sweet celebration, which happens every year on February 14, is all about spreading the love.

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St. Valentine

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A young boy and girl

CHANGING TRADITIONS

Valentine’s Day traditions have evolved a lot over the years. For example, in the Middle Ages—which lasted from the 5th to 15th centuries in Europe—people started exchanging handmade cards with love notes inside. Today billions of dollars are spent on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts each year around the world.

 

In a tradition that's also tied to the Middle Ages, South African women actually wear their hearts on their sleeves ... sort of. Girls pin the names of their crushes on their shirtsleeves, sometimes revealing themselves as secret admirers to their sweethearts.

 

No matter how you celebrate Valentine's Day, one thing's for sure: This is one totally aww-some holiday.

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Handmade cards

 

Text by Rose Davidson, National Geographic Staff

 

Photo credits (top to bottom): Bhofack2, Dreamstime; Eric Vandeville, Gamma-Rapho, Getty Images; Rachel Frank, AGE Fotostock; KenTannenbaum, Getty Images

 

 

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