Love & Marriage – St. Valentine’s Day stamp released by Irish Post

February 16th, 2015 is glad to inform that An Post issues a new Love & Marriage stamp in time for Saint Valentine's Day in February. 2015 will be the 9th consecutive issue of a stamp to celebrate romance. The stamp, designed by Oonagh Young, is based on a typographic form of the word LOVE, a word that has a diverse and interesting etymology.

The word as we know it, is derived from many sources: The Old English word lufu means "love, affection, friendliness", while the ProtoGermanic lubo can mean "joy". The German word Liebe means "love" while other ancient words come close, including Old Norse, Old Frisian and Dutch lof and German Lob all mean "praise".

Also close is Old Saxon liof, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb and Gothic liufs mean "dear, beloved". While we're not certain which route the word itself came from we do know that Saint Valentine's Day as a celebration of love first emerged in the High Middle Ages and Geoffrey Chaucer's tradition of courting and ove. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").

In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart, as well as to children, in order to ward off Saint Valentine's Malady. Saint Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shapes, doves and the winged Cupid.