February has long been a month of romance. With the sweet smell of roses in the air, romantic films hit cinemas and love stories fill newspapers and magazines.

On the 14th day, it is customary for a boy to take his girlfriend out to dinner, buy her flowers and chocolates, write poems, sing to her or even spell out her name with rose petals!
This is the scene that greets you on Valentine’s Day, named after Valentine who was a priest in third century Rome. When the emperor decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives, he banned marriage.
But Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, the emperor had him put to death..    

While in prison, it is said that Valentine fell in love with the daughter of his prison guard. Before his death, he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still in use today.
Valentine died for what he believed in and so was made a Saint, as well as becoming one of history’s most romantic figures.
Nowadays, Valentine’s Day wins the same popularity among Chinese young people. It is a time when students “don’t want to be alone” according to Gao Shunjie, a student reporter for 21st Century Teens in Jinling High School, Nanjing. Some of her classmates are planning to make Valentine’s cards for parents, teachers and friends. Others want to hold parties at which they will exchange small gifts and eat heart-shaped cakes. The idea is to have fun and encourage people to share in the spirit of St. Valentine.