Celebrate Valentine’s Day focuses on historical and cultural aspects of this holiday and the international traditions, food, and celebrations associated with it. This celebration of love includes fun facts; a recipe; a map showing the location of all photographs; a resource list of books, videos, and Web sites; and a note from an expert consultant, aimed at parents and teachers, which deepens our understanding of the holiday’s importance and meaning.
The history of the holiday is shrouded in mystery, but we do know that Valentine’s Day wasn’t always a time for red roses, candy hearts, and frilly greeting cards. Readers learn that some historians trace the feast of the patron saint of love to ancient Greek and Roman festivals that signaled the beginning of spring, which officially began in February in ancient Rome. We discover how, according to one legend, St. Valentine was a priest imprisoned for defying the emperor. Before being put to death, he sent the first "valentine" —a letter that he signed "From your Valentine," words still used on cards today.
Readers discover a range of international Valentine’s Day traditions: making and exchanging cards decorated with hearts, lace, and ribbons; giving flowers, candy, balloons, and other gifts to friends and loved ones; attending special parties at school; and baking of cookies and other treats. We learn how the holiday’s popularity has grown around the world, particularly in Korea and Japan, where office workers give chocolates to their co-workers on Valentine’s Day.
National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.
About the Author
The author of more than 20 books, CAROLYN OTTO is best known for her award-winning children's nonfiction titles, including the Scholastic Science Readers Wolves and Spiders, and What Color is Camouflage? in the HarperCollins Let's Read-and-Find-Out Science Series. Otto, who has also written poetry and fiction for children as well as adults, has a BA in English from Colorado College. She earned her MA from NYU while concurrently working for a major publishing company in New York. After a number of years in New York, she returned to her native Colorado.