Valentine’s Day, or So They Say
When, again, is St. Valentine’s day? February 14, right? Yes … and no. Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14, July 6, July 30 and June 12. Why so many days on which this holiday is observed?
Valentine was a popular name within religious circles back in the days of the Romans. The beginning of this holiday was a liturgical celebration for one or more saints named Valentinus. The Anglicans and Lutherans have an official feast day for the Valentines.
To further complicate things, the Eastern Orthodox church celebrates the day on July 6 and July 30. The former is for presbyter Saint Valentine with the later being in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine. In Brazil, Valentine’s day is observed on June 12.
So where do all the hearts and flowers and chocolates come in? You can blame that on Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English literature. His poem, A Parliament of Fowls, is said to have had a bearing on what the holiday is all about today. During his time, when courtly love flourished, it became common to express one’s affection with sweets, flowers and/or cards.
Those aren’t the only roots from which this popular holiday is said to have sprung. There are claims that Lupercalia, the festival in honor of the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, is the true origin of the day we celebrate on February 14. The argument against it is that the festival predated Chaucer. That being the case there is no record of a connection between romantic love and Lupercalia. Huffington Post provides some insight regarding the saint for which the holiday (as we celebrate it today) is most likely in honor.
Valentine cards, the mass produced paper greetings shared on February 14, were not always prefabricated. Many times they were handmade. Well-crafted, handmade cards carry deeper meaning for many people, but it’s always fun to be remembered, handmade or not. For your artsy fartsy leanings, here are some wonderful ideas from Martha Stewart for making your own cards. If you’re looking for something a bit different this year for your valentine cards, Amazon has two very attractive selections which caught my eye A Heart with a View and Sunny Valentine
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