I didn't have much time today to prepare something, but I’m glad to show you my first cover received from Norway. Up to now I did not have any opportunity to receive neither a letter nor a postcard from this country. And for this first cover, this is even a FDC !
As you see the subject of the stamps is LOVE. This set of stamps, issued on the 8th of February, was intended to be used on mail for the Valentine’s day. Valentine’s day is, after Christmas, the second event for sending a greeting card ! The 14th of February has become a letter-writing day all over the world, so the Norway post had the idea to merge this Valentine issue with the EUROPA issue, whose theme is letter writing.
On the Norway post website, associated to these stamps, you can read a legend about the origin of Valentine’s day :
According to legend, St. Valentine was thrown into prison and condemned to death in 270 AD because he would not deny his God. While he was in prison, he gave lessons to the jailer’s blind daughter, Julia, and taught her about God. One day while Valentine and Julia were praying together, a light appeared in the cell. “I can see, I can see!” Julia cried, while Valentine fell to his knees and thanked God. Before he was executed, Valentine wrote a letter to Julia declaring his love for her. On the day after his execution, 14 February, Julia planted an almond tree on Valentine’s grave.
But it seems this is only one legend among a lot of others and the actual origin of the Valentine’s day is not really known.