Valentines Day in Sweden
February 14, 2011 0:22 AM

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I'm not sure how many countries that celebrate Valentines Day around the world? A day which in Swedish is called Alla hjärtans dag - All Hearts Day (literal translation). Actually, Valentines Day has not been celebrated in Sweden for too many years. I myself only have a few vague memories of celebrating it while growing up.

In fact the first attempt to adopt this Valentine Day celebration in Sweden was in 1956. A department store displayed Valentines Day for the first time, but no one cared much about it. Therefore Valentines Day remained a foreign tradition up until the 1990s. It was then it became a part of the Swedish festival calendar. Something which instantly boosted the interest for this celebration. And today most Swedes know about and celebrate Valentines Day in some form.

But who was Valentine then? Well there is no certain explanation, but the most famous story tells the tale of a Christian man named Valentine. He lived during the 200s and was imprisoned and martyred in Rome around 269. The crime he was convicted for - ordaining young couples. Something which was strictly against emperor Claudius II orders.

During Valentines time in prison he was in contact with the jailer's daughter, who brought him food and messages. And prior to Valentines execution, on February 14th, he wrote a farewell letter to her signed by "your Valentine". This is said to be the first Valentine card and the start of the tradition of sending each other cards on this date.

Even though I'm not a huge celebrant of this day. I do like the sentiment and story behind it. So I wish everyone a lovely Valentines Day. And I send you all lots of <3 from Sweden. :-)

Sources: Wikipedia, Nordiska museet

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