Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's it all about....

As it is Valentine's Day, I thought I would talk some about the actual history of the day.

 Valentine's Day started out as an ancient Roman festival, Lupercalia.  Lupercalia was a fertility festival, celebrated on February 15.  In 496, Pope Gelasius 1 made the day a Christian feast, honoring St. Valentine and moving it to the date we now know, February 14.

   Pope Gelasius 1 did not make clear which St. Valentine he was speaking of and it turns out, with further digging, that there were at least 3 different St. Valentines that he could have been referring to.  All had been martyred on February 14.  One story says that Valentine was a prisoner and fell in love with the daughter of the jailer.  Prior to being executed, Valentine wrote a letter to her and signed it, "from your Valentine."

It was not until the 14th century that love was associated with Valentine's Day.  Chaucer wrote a poem to honor the marriage of  Richard the second and Anne of Bohemia.

   In England, February 14th became a day of gift giving and exchanging of hand-made cards. As the American colonies were created, so came the tradition of England's Valentine's Day.  It took until 1850, when Esther  A. Howland started mass-producing valentines, that it became an American tradition.

  Many of us have come to think that Valentine's Day is only for those of us who have 'partners'.  While that, in a sense, is true, I feel differently.  Love for someone should not be kept for a special day or be shown by giving flowers and candy.  While I love getting flowers and yummy chocolate, it should be more about everyday love.  Telling someone how nice they look, putting a little extra time in the meal you serve, talking to an old friend.  Love can be shown in so many ways and we need to treat everyday as though it was Valentine's Day.

   I want to leave you with something I saw on this morning.  Go to cocorosetextiles.blogspot.com and click on her youtube link.  Or, for those of you who would like to go to youtube directly, type in Turning Page by Sleeping At Last.  It is a wonderful slow and meaning song.

   I wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day, today and every day.


  1. Hi, Deb! Happy Valentine's Day! And thanks for the history lesson. I especially like the part about Chaucer and Richard II. John Gardner's biography of Chaucer is very good, if you like biographies.

    When I read about you remembering your grandfather, although you were only 18 months old, the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I think my earliest memory was sitting on my aunt's knee while she taught me the letters on a salt box. Little did she know she was introducing me to a life, maybe 90 percent of which would be spent reading.

    Keep blogging! Love and {{{{{hugs}}}}}}!

  2. Thank you, Joanne. My daddy taught me the alphabet and taught me to read when I was 4. Every night, after supper, I would sit with him in his chair and learn. That is a very happy memory for me. I always said that when I write that great American novel, it will be because of him.