THE much loved or completely dreaded, depending who you are speaking to, Valentine's Day is creeping up on us again.

It's all thanks to the mysterious Saint Valentine, who's known as the patron saint of love and who's birthday fell on that date.

He is remembered by the popular stories that have passed down through generations, with the most popular noting that he was a man who went against an oppressive state by marrying lovers in secret, when marriage was banned by the ruling government. The lines between folk tales and fact are hazy in this story.

However, some say the tradition originated from the Roman festival Lupercalia that fell in the middle of February. Allegedly as part of the festival, the boys drew names of the girls from a box and whoever they got they were stuck with for the festival. Today, Valentine's Day means the celebration of love, gift giving or public displays of affection.