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St. Valentines Day

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St. Valentines Day

SOME FACTS AND HISTORY ABOUT SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

The History  and Traditions of St. Valentines Day:Valentine's Day: Scented Candles with Cherubim

The Origin and Story of Valentines Day

The origins of this holiday derive from the celebration of the feast of Lupercalia to welcome the month of February (Juno Feruata) and give homage to the god of agriculture Faunus (this is the beginning of spring in Italy and Eurpope).  This holiday included "pagan" rituals, including sexual games (for fertility). One of the games was a lottery.  In this lottery, the women would each put their names into a bowl, then the men would pick out a name of one of these women.  The woman would then become the man’s partner for pleasures of the body. When the Catholic Church and Pope Gelasius came to power in the 3rd century AD, they wanted to convert this celebration and its practices into something wholesome and instilled the celebration of St. Valentine. 

The legend of the holiday has been based on Saint Valentine.  However, scholars are unable to determine exactly who he was.  But, the legends grew.  One legend of St. Valentine's history is that when Emperor Claudius of Rome outlawed marriage of young males (because single men make better warriors) St. Valentine defied the Emperor and married them secretly (approx. 270 A.D.)  A more romantic legend is that when St. Valentine was imprisoned and sentenced to death (for helping prisoners escape the Roman prisons) he fell in love with the daughter of his captor and sent her the first "valentine" as an expression of his love (he supposedly signed it "from your Valentine").

The first St. Valentines day was officially proclaimed by Pop Gelasius in 498 A.D.  However, the modern celebration of this holiday did not begin until the 18th century when it became popular to exchange token gifts and notes of affection with others on this day.  The first mass produced Valentines Day card was produced and sold in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland.

St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th.  This is the date of the death of St. Valentine and it also corresponds to the Festival of Lupercalia (Feb. 15th).

Although still a Christian holiday at its modern roots, it is celebrated by all denominations, where couples show affection for each other through cards and gifts.

Who Invented the Valentine’s Day Card?

As noted above, it was St. Valentine himself who sent a letter to a lady he proclaimed to love while being held in the prison the Emperor.  The letter itself is on display in the National Museum in London.

Why Do We Give Flowers on Valentine’s Day?

The tradition of giving flowers goes back a very long way. However, the giving of flowers was not always given for romance.  Evidence of flowers have been found at the remains at ancient graves and burial sites.  In the medieval days, flowers were given to ward of death or evil – although the occasional story about the handsome night giving a beautiful flower to a beautiful maiden still existed.  The modern tradition started somewhere about the 17th or 18th century, when the custom of giving flowers moved its way up from Persia into Europe.  Some acclaim this spread of knowledge to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who traveled and lived in modern day Turkey, before returning to London in the early 1700’s.  Others give credit to Charles II (1630-1685) during who picked up the Arabic custom during his years as ruler and during his the two periods where he was traveling while in in exile. Charles II, also brought the idea of the “language of flowers” to England and France.  This is where different types of flowers and their arrangement can be used to communicate different messages.  Books, especially all over England, were written about this floral language.  A whole conversation could transpire without one word being said orally.  The tradition of giving of flowers had continued on to modern times.

Why is Cupid Associated With Valentine’s Day?

Cupid is a mythical figure from ancient times.  He is depicted as a young child who flys around with his magical bow and arrows. Any victim who is struck falls in love with the first person they see.  In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, but was given the name Cupid by the Romans.  In both ancient societies, he was the son of the goddess of love (Aphrodite to the Greeks, Venus to the Romans).  He was originally depicted as a young, but strong and powerful god (not the little baby he is depicted as today)

One of the most famous tales about Cupid is the story of Cupid and Psyche.  Cupid’s mother, Venus was jealous of Psyche’s beauty and sent her loyal son down to get rid of her.  However, Cupid fell in love with her and married her instead.  They lived harmoniously as long as she did not look at him.  One day, her sisters convinced her to take a short peek.  Cupid was furious and he left her immediately, Valentine's Day: Cupid and Psychetaking their home, wealth all of his possessions with him.  The saddened Psyche wondered around aimlessly until she came upon a great castle.  The castle was governed by none other than the goddess Venus.  Venus told Psych that she would reunite her with Cupid if she would complete a series of tasks.  The tasks could be lethal, but that was what Venus intended.  The final task was to take some of the beauty from Prosperine and place it in a beautifully ornate box.  She was also told not to open the box.  Her curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box anyway (she has an issue with following directions).  Instead of finding beauty, she found her eternal sleep.  Cupid came too late and found his beloved Psyche lying dead.  Cupid then gathered her life essence and put it into the same box.  When he brought the box to his father, he and the other gods were touched by Cupid’s love and made Psyche a immortal as a goddess.

This story of love has been passed down through stories both oral and written.  However, the meaning behind the story has a very romantic notion of love behind it, and as the tradition of providing a day for romance grew (i.e., Valentine’s Day), the notion of a Cupid began to grow with it.  This probably became more evident during the early 1900’s, when Valentine’s Day became not only a day for lovers, but also a day where new loves can begin, such as at Sadie Hawkin’s Valentine’s Day dance.  The depiction of a handsome young man of the ancient tales was probably transformed during the Victorian era in England.

How did the Heart become associated with Valentines Day and Love?

The association of love with the heart is a combination of many, many different elements over the years.  Some of the contributing factors include: (1) The finding by a group of physicians during the 12th century that the hears was at the center of a person’s emotion, (2) A person who is in love, or feeling emotional may have pains in their chests – contributing to the idea of the heart as your emotional source, (3) Many ancient civilizations belief of the heart as the source of strength (and emotion) and would eat their enemies hearts to obtain their adversaries powers. (4) The shape of the modern heart “” is nicer looking than the shape of a real heart and might have been modeled after a woman’s derriere.  Once the heart shape and the traditions/stories surrounding the heart were merged, the modern day symbol of love was born.  Put an arrow through it (i.e., Cupid’s Arrow) and you have a Valentine’s Day Heart.  This has also become a symbol of the holiday with millions of heart shaped candies, cookies, chocolates (and candy boxes) and a whole slew of other items being made into a heart each year for one person to profess their love to another.

LINKS TO INFORMATION ON ST. VALENTINE'S DAY

GIFT IDEAS FOR A ROMANTIC ST. VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine's Day Facts and History

History of Valentine's Day (TheHolidaySpot): Information, history and recipes for the holiday.

History of Valentine's Day (History Channel): Information and history of the Valentine's Day Holiday.

Fabulous February Favorites (Jerrie Cheek): A list of links about Valentines day and other February holidays.

History of Valentine's Day (Kid's Domain): A fun site for kids with information, facts and activities for the holiday.

 

Valentines Day Ideas

LovingYou.com (official): All kinds of ideas for planning and enjoying that perfect valentine’s day.
Valentine’s Day Ideas (HomeSchoolZone.com): Recipies, poems, candymaking and other fun ideas for valentine’s day.
Valentine Ideas and Tips (MyDearValentine): A list of tips and ideas to make Valentine’s day fun and romantic

ValentineCentral.com (official): A directory of gift sites, valentine sites, romance, books and general topics
 

Cupid

The History and Meaning of Cupid . . . (Romance Class): Information about Cupid and his involvement in Valentine's Day and romance.

Cupid, aka Eros, has a long history (Univ. of Kansas): Historical facts about this mythological being.

 

St. Valentine's Day Poems

CanTeach.ca
DCrafts.com
HomeSchoolZone.com
PoemsForFree.com
 

Click Here for More Links

What began as a pagan ritual, and was converted into a religious celebration, has evolved into a day of romance for many couples around the world.  I am not going to talk about gifts relating to the first two, I will only speak of the later, love and romance.

Valentines Day is a day where we need to think about and pay attention to our significant other.  People are generally not romantic, so this day forces each of us to find the romantic hiding deep inside and awaken it for one day of the year.  There is a romantic in each of us and there are only a few rules to follow for you to be one too:

  1. Be nice and well behaved.  Do not start a fight no matter what.

  2. Always keep your partners wants and needs in mind.  Do not take her to a Steak House when her favorite food is Italian.

  3. Dinner at a romantic restaurant is always a nice idea, or cook a romantic dinner yourself.  If you can be alone, lower the lights and light some candles to add to the mood.

  4. Bring or send a gift.  Especially from him to her.  It can be the traditional bouquet of flowers or box of sweets.  However, they will be ecstatic if you show up with some jewelry such as a diamond encrusted charm in the shape of a heart.  You can also surprise them by sending flowers or a gift basket earlier in the day before you arrive (to their home or work).

  5. Dress up.  Make sure you clean yourself up.  Wear your Sunday best, even if it is only a Tuesday night. 

  6. For Guys: Follow the code of Chivalry (open up the door, seat your date, etc.).

Coming soon: recipes and additional gift ideas for Valentines Day

SUGGESTED GIFTS FROM OUR AFFILIATES

Jewelry Gift Ideas for Valentines Day

Love Loyalty & Friendship Claddagh Ring

18k Gold Diamond Band (1 ct. tw.)

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14K GOLD 3-STONE OVAL-CUT DIAMOND RING (.50 CTW) icon

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14K GOLD 3-STONE EMERALD-CUT DIAMOND RING (1.50 CTW) icon

Rose of Love Convertible Necklace

Sterling Silver Double Chain Bracelet with Heart Charm

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Silver Heart Tag Bracelet icon

10kt Yellow Gold Stampato Hearts Bracelet

Platinum Four-Prong Diamond Stud Earrings (1 1/2 ct. tw.)

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14K WHITE GOLD SAPPHIRE & DIAMOND PENDANT icon

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14K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND EARRINGS (.50 CTW) icon

Heart-Shaped Aquamarine Earrings

18k Gold Sweetheart Locket

Freshwater Cultured Pearl Necklace with Filigree Heart Charm (3.5-4.0mm)

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14K GOLD DIAMOND HEART PENDANT (.50 CTW) icon

Rose of Love Cross Pendant

Flowers for Valentines Day

One Dozen Red Roses Flowers

Valentine's Day Precious Hearts Bouquet

Valentine's Day Red Hot's Bouquet

Valentine's Day Crystal Spiral Bouquet

SENTIMENTAL VALENTINE(TM)

New Years/Same Day 125x125

Chocolates and Candy Gift Ideas for Valentines Day

Valentine's Day Gift of Love Gift Basket

Strawberry Roses Gift Basket

Valentine's Day Red Velvet Heart Box Gift Basket

Valentine's Day Ghirardelli Bear Bouquet

Melt Your Heart Valentine's Basket

Sweet Affections Hershey's Chocolate Kiss Tin

Personalized Candy Hearts Heart Puzzles

PLUSH & CANDY FOR FEBRUARY- VALENTINE BEAR

"M&M'S"(R) VALENTINE HOUSE

Romantic Dinner: Food & Wine for Valentines Day

Be My Valentine Keepsake Wine Bottle

LOBSTER & FILET DINNER FOR TWO

GOURMET DINNER FOR TWO

THE ROMANTIC

DELUXE GOURMET TRUNK FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

VALENTINE POLKA DOT BLACK-OUT CAKE

Connoisseur Crate

Holiday 125x125

Romantic Travel Ideas for Valentines Day

Hawaii

Other Unique St. Valentine Day Gift Ideas

Cupid & Psyche

A Diamond Is Forever Crystal Keepsake

My Heart Belongs To You Custom Frame

A Time For Love Heart Clock

My Sweet Hearts MOUSE PAD

VALENTINE PLAYTIME BASKET(TM)

VALENTINE'S DAY DISH GARDEN

Burning Love Boxer Shorts

Karen Neuburger Funny Valentine Shawl Robe Loungewear

Jones New York Valentine Bouquet Chemise Sleepwear

Sterling Silver Heart Bookmark

Valentine's Day: Cherub Tray Plaque

Cherub Tray Plaque

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Spafinder® Day Spa Gift Certificate icon

Other Gift Ideas

 

GIFT SUGGESTIONS FROM THE www.GiftWarehousePlus.com ONLINE GIFT STORE, THE OFFICIAL STORE OF GIFT IDEAS PLUS

Valentine's Day: Roses on Candle Holder

Roses on Candle Holder

Valentine's Day: Love Heart

"Love" Heart

Valentine's Day: Essence of Love Book and Stand

Essence of Love Book and Stand

Valentine's Day: Spunglass "Love" Heart

Spunglass "Love" Heart

Valentine's Day: Red Satin Heart Shaped Boxes

Red Satin Heart-Shaped Boxes

Valentine's Day: Satin Roses in Vase

Satin Roses in Vase

Valentine's Day: Love Glass Vase Holding a Rose

Love Glass Vase Holding a Rose

Valentine's Day: Heart-Shaped Oil Lamp

Heart-Shaped Oil Lamp

Valentine's Day: Roses and Heart Floating Candles

Roses & Hearts Floating Candles

Valentine's Day: Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche

Valentine's Day: Scented Candles with Cherubim

Scented Candle w/Cherubim

Valentine's Day: Lover Frogs on Bench

Lover Frogs on Bench