Complete Set of 3 nos of special postage stamp on St. Valentine’s Day :
Issued by Australia
Issued on Feb 3, 1994
Design : The stamps feature superb images of beautiful blooms. Photographed by Lariane Fonseca of Geelong, Victoria. A book of her flower photographs, If Passion were a Flower …. was published in 1992.
Type : Stamps, Postal Used
Watermark : No
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 45 Cents each
- Thinking of You stamps were introduced in 1990 in response to many requests from members of the public for stamps that would be suitable for special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. Introduced in 1994 was a special stamp for St. Valentine’s Day, featuring a beautiful red rose, traditional symbol of romantic love.
- St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a festival of romance and affection in many countries around the world. Its origins are obscure but some authorities believe they lie in the ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia. During the ceremony, which was held on 15 February to ensure protection from wolves, young men struck people with strips of animal hide. This was also thought to make young women more fertile. Another part of the ceremony, in honour of the goddess Juno, involved a lottery for the selection of mates. Boys and girls who were matched were considered partners for the coming year.
- Other stories connect St. Valentine’s Day to priests of the Roman era.
- One priest secretly married young couples against an edict of Emperor Claudius II banning weddings. Claudius believed unmarried men made better soldiers. Another was an early Christian, gaoled by the Romans for refusing their gods. His followers missed him and managed to smuggle loving notes into his cell.
- The ancient English belief, cited by both Chaucer and Shakespeare, that birds choose their mates on 14 February, is yet another strain in romantic notations connected with this time of the year.
- St. Valentine’s Day customs over time have shown elements in common with all these stories. The practice of sending loving messages is known to date back at least to the fifteenth century. The Duke of Orleans, for instance, captured at the Battle of Agincourt, sent his wife a rhymed love letter from his cell in the Tower of London in 1415.
- Those who could not write sent tokens to the object of their affection. Eighteenth and nineteenth century shops sold handbooks for the less poetically inspired, containing romantic verses people could copy. Commercial valentines date from the nineteenth century.
- Ladies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, expected gifts rather than verse. Gloves were popular as a particularly expressive and elegant show of affection. In the early nineteenth century, on the other hand, floriography (flower language) became very popular. Bouquets of flowers, all with their particular meanings, became the vogue.
- Many St. Valentine’s Day customs involved ways single women might learn who their future husbands would be or involved matching members of the opposite sex to be sweethearts or special friends for the coming year. It was customary at one time for a youth to wear the name of his valentine on his sleeve.