February 14 is the feast day for Saint Valentine, who was martyred in Rome on that day in 269 A.D. Valentine’s Day became associated with older celebrations inspired by the Roman goddess Juno, the protector of women. Juno’s festival included pairing young people for the day based on drawing of names. Gifts were exchanged, and this practice spread to England. Gloves were a favored gift and later greeting cards became popular.
It was a common belief in times past that birds choose their mates for the year on Valentine’s Day. An English rhyme provides this quote:
Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind
Their paramours with mutual chirpings find.

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