Festival of romantic love
Palentinian farmer gathers flowers for sale ahead of the Valentines Day in southern Gaza Strip. ©Reuters
Valentine's Day, a festival of romantic love, is celebrated on February 14 in many countries around the world, although it is not a bank holiday in most of them. People exchange gifts, chocolates, flowers and special hand written cards (usually heart-shaped valentine cards). The most common Valentine's Day symbols are hearts, especially in reds and pinks, and pictures or models of Cupid. The day became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages in England. This may have followed on from the Pagan fertility festivals that were held all over Europe as the winter came to an end.
A bride and groom shoot an arrow from a bow during the wedding ceremony on the Valentines Day eve in Thailand. ©Reueters
A florist decorating a bouquet of 99 red roses in Beijine, China. ©Reuters
A bouquet made of blue roses and little teddy bears on sale on the Valentines Day in Beijing, China. ©Reuters
A salesman waiting for customers in the street on the Valentines Day eve in Pakistan. ©Reuters
About 100 Newly-wed couples release heart-shaped balloons during their mass wedding ceremony on Valentines Day in Malaysia. ©Reuters