Ahhhh February and Valentine’s day approacheth, the day of luuurve! What other purpose does February bring? Apart from being famous for the month after January, having a rogue “r’ that no one bothers to pronounce and statistically when all the people who joined gyms in January start flagging and all the gym rats are happy to have their space back. Also the shortest month of the year, you might miss it if you blink repeatedly. My Aquarius and Pisces peeps, I love you.
But let’s get back to Valentine’s Day shall we…loading in 5, 4, 3…..
Also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, celebrated annually on February 14 (in case you need reminding). On this day, across most parts of the globe, chocolates, flowers, gifts and various forms of loving declarations are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this chappie? Where did these “traditions” come from? Do you even care? I remember high school or was it University, it was the day that gave boys the boldness to (finally) go up to a girl or ask her out….or to send the anonymous “will you be my valentine?” card (or piece of paper), keeping said girl guessing who sent it, which could result in girl excitedly thinking it was some other dude she had been eyeing and….
It didn’t always end well. Ain’t nobody got time for that anymore.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are all over the place, one source said “Valentine’s day started off as a Western Christian feast day honouring one or two early saints, both named Valentinus”. The what? What I do know is that Valentine’s Day started with the Romans, ancient Romans. Those Romans have a lot to answer for. Wiki your life on your own time while I get on with this blogging business. (No, it wasn’t invented by Americans, I know, shocking).
So I was curious and went down the rabbit hole, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England…..some of my findings. Ten quick facts.
- Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honoured by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.
- The Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus.
- Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial – which probably occurred around A.D. 270 – others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.
- Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. It was a spring festival celebrated at the ides of February (or February 15). With the introduction of Christianity, the celebration was moved to the 14th of February – the saint day that celebrated several early Christian martyrs named Valentine.
- The Pope abolished the Lupercalia festival and proclaimed 14 February Saint Valentine’s Day, thus establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints. The poet Chaucer in the Middle Ages was the first to link St Valentine with romantic love.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned to their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”
- In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.
- In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, and is often depicted with a bow and arrows to pierce hearts and cast a “spell of love”. Before he was called Cupid, the Greeks called him Eros, the god of love.
- The red rose was the favourite flower of Venus.
- Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
So there. I can live in the sunny randomness of my mind if you let me. Sigh. Those pesky fairies flying around my head won’t stop till they have their way and finish what they have to say.
Who remembers or knows the Bee Gees’ song “How Deep Is Your Love”? Circa 1977. Oops, I digress…
Gary Chapman in his book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” says there are five ways to express and experience love and we each have a primary language which speaks more deeply to us than all the others. The five are – receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch. It’s all about keeping the love tank full and knowing how to communicating our love so it never runs on empty.
What’s your love language?!! There’s a quiz online. Let me know what you think!
Happy hump day! As you go about your day gift buying, dreaming of gifts you’ll receive, looking to outdo last year’s gift…..there’s no need to keep up with the Joneses (who are these Joneses by the way?). We all love differently. One person’s box of chocolates is another person’s calorie point! Give the gift someone would love. Think of love. Who you love, why you love, what you love, what you don’t love, unconditional love, your love language! Love is love. Love runs deep. Love every day. How deep is your love?
I was scrolling through my archives looking for a photo for this blog, I wanted something with the word “love” in it. I took this photo in July 2018. Don’t you just love it when you take a photo of something random that catches your eye and then much much later, boom! It turns out to be the missing piece to a grand puzzle.
If you loved this, or even if you didn’t, check out the piece I wrote last year on February 14 – An Ode to Love….x .Go forth and love people.
Cover photo credit, Pixabay free image