The professional ethnological interest of the author of the book focuses on the secular Valentine’s Day, falling on February 14.
The first part of the publication offers findings on its origins within the environment of England’s Renaissance aristocracy as well as its development in Europe until the end of the 19th century. The book also observes the transformation of Valentine’s Day into a modern holiday in the United States of America, where it arrived at the end of the 17th century, and its return to the European continent three centuries later. The presented information on the origins of this holiday is the result of a critical analysis of a broad range of opinions and ideas in the light of the findings of historians, literary scientists, and ethnologists. The knowledge on the development and transformation of Valentine’s Day until the present is based on the ethnological study of the Valentine’s Day celebration practice. Based on this data, the author clarifies in the second part of the publication the content and significance of the contemporary forms of Valentine’s Day celebration as well as its relationship to other holidays associated with love in European countries. and its meanings for the various population groups – church members, people without partners, supporters of the opinions on the intangibility of the nation’s cultural traditions, etc. In Slovakia and beyond, it is the first ethnological work ever that observes the whole span from the origins of Valentine’s holiday up to the current forms of its perception and celebration. Thanks to this approach, the work forms a basis for understanding the place of the phenomenon of this feast day in the lives of the inhabitants of today’s Europe –integrated and globalised on one hand, but also divided by the conflicting views of its past or future on the other hand.