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[[File:Saint Valentine by Bassano.jpg|thumbnail|300px|Saint Valentine as depcited by Bassano.]]
Saint Valentine's Day is widely celebrated in the Western world as a day of love and romantic relationships. While this tradition does go far back and has connections to early Christian traditions, there are also more complex links with pre-Christian holidays that were likely changed or modified into Saint Valentine's Day traditions.
[[File:Court of Love in Provence in the Fourteenth Century Manuscript of the National Library of Paris.png|thumbnail|Figure 2. Depiction of the Charter of the Court of Love that may have influenced Valentine's Day traditions. ]]
In Saxon England, young men or boys would often give women of their affections small gifts that included gloves. The fact that Saint Valentine's Day is near spring and foreshadowed it could have made it more festive in association with love. In some regions, Saint Valentine's Day began to be associated with spring since it was often the time people began to rework in their fields in preparing for the planting season. However, these events did not associate the day directly with love. Although the Roman and other stories associated with Saint Valentine could have connected the day with love, other later traditions may have further added to this idea. Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous early English author, wrote that the time was associated with birds beginning to pair themselves. In effect, it was a time of pairing and matches and associations of this to humans may have begun around that time.<ref>For more on early Medieval traditions of Saint Valentine's Day, see: Diehl, D., & Donnelly, M. (2011). <i>Medieval celebrations: your guide to planning and hosting spectacular feasts, parties, weddings, and renaissance fairs</i> (2nd ed). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.</ref>
In 1400, Charles VI of France commissioned <i>Charter of the Court of Love </i>, which was a charter where on February 14th contests would be held related to love songs and poetry readings about love (Figure 2). While the accuracy of the story of this are not certain, what we do know is by the 15th century people did begin to wish their beloved valentine greetings. The developments around this time made have made chivalrous acts between maidens and single men and Valentine's Day associated. The Duke of Orléans, who was captured in battle against the English, wished his wife a sweet valentine. In England, Valentine's Day also began to be associated with gifts of sweets for children. It was during the Medieval period that young people put the names of the person they wanted to marry on their sleeves, which has come to us in the expression of putting your heart on your sleeve. In the 15th century, cards may have begun to be created with notes of affection, although they did not become popular until much later. By 1600, Shakespear's Hamlet has Ophelia discuss her love for Hamlet in association with Valentine's Day.<ref>For more on late Medieval traditions and the growing popularity of Valentine's Day then, see: Skarmeas, N. J., & Venturi-Pickett, S. (1999). <i>The Story of Valentine’s Day</i>. Nashville, Tenn.: Candy Cane Press.</ref>