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节日英语:西方情人节的由来

时间:14-02-14来源:人人听力网
文章内容

 St. Valentine's Day has roots in several different legends that have found their

way to us through the ages. One of the earliest popular symbols of the day is Cupid

(爱神丘比特), the Roman god of love, who is represented by the image of a young

boy with bow and arrow.
  Three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Roman emperors still

demanded that everyone believe in the Roman gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, had

been thrown in prison for his teachings. On February 14, Valentine was beheaded(斩

首), not only because he was a Christian, but also because he had performed a

miracle. He supposedly cured the jailer's daughter of her blindness. The night

before he was executed, he wrote the jailer's daughter a farewell letter, signing it

"From Your Valentine." Another legend tells us that this same Valentine, well-loved

by all, received notes to his jail cell from children and friends who missed him.
  Another Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time, AD

200. He was imprisoned because he secretly married couples, contrary to the laws of

the Roman emperor. Some legends say he was burned at the stake.
  February 14 was also a Roman holiday, held in honor of a goddess. Young men

randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities. The custom of

choosing a sweetheart on this date spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, and

then to the early American colonies. Throughout the ages, people also believed that

birds picked their mates on February 14!
  In AD 496 Sain Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as "Valentine's Day". Although

it's not an official holiday, most Americans observe this day.
  Whatever the odd mixture of origins, St. Valentine's Day is now a day for

sweethearts. It is the day that you show your friend or loved one that you care. You

can send candy to someone you think is special. Or you can send roses, the flower of

love. Most people send "valentines," a greeting card named after the notes that St.

Valentine received in jail. Valentines can be sentimental, romantic and heartfelt(

真心真意的). They can be funny and friendly. If the sender is shy, valentines can

be anonymous.
  Americans of all ages love to send and receive valentines. Handmade valentines

created by cutting hearts out of colored paper, show that a lot of thought was put

into making them personal. Valentines can be heart-shaped, or have hearts, the

symbol of love, on them. In elementary schools children make valentines for their

classmates and put them in a large decorated box, similar to a mailbox. On February

14, the teacher opens the box and distributes the valentines to each student. After

the students read their valentines they have a small party with refreshments.
 

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