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Saint Valentine's Day in France/Le jour de la Saint-Valentin

During the Middle Ages, the French believed that birds began to mate mid February. For this reason lovers exchanged tokens of love on 14 February, the saint’s day.

People in France once had a Valentine's Day custom of ‘une loterie d'amour’ (drawing for) where single people called out from their windows to pair off. A bonfire was lit at the end of the day where ladies burned images of  the lovers who left them during the day and hurl abuse at them. The practice was eventually banned by the state.

The first Valentine's Day card (carte d'amities) is said to have been written by the young French Duke of Orleans to his wife from his imprisonment in the Tower of London.

Religious pilgrims travel to the pretty Indre village of St Valentin, which is named after the saint, on the day. In addition, many romantics also go there and the village has made a name for itself around love declaring itself the ‘Village of Love’. Each year there is a festival around February 14th when the whole village is decked out with flowers (red roses being the favorite) and the garden is focus where you can get married in the gazebo, pin your love notes on the Tree of Vows, plant a tree that will hopefully flourish or commemorate your love on the Tree of Eternal Hearts. For more: http://www.village-saint-valentin.com/saint-valentin 

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