VALENTINE’S DAY . . . should be every day!

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones but where did this tradition come from?

We  know that February is celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it, contains evidence of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become connected to this age old right?

There are probably  many legends floating around, but here are a few that I am familiar with!

One legend claims that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, knowing how unjust this was, went against Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Another legend had it that Valentine, while in prison actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl who was thought to be his jailor’s daughter. She visited him often and before he died, it is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” a popular expression to this day.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages. Written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprison in the Tower of London after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting can still be seen at the British Library in London, England.)

By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged.

We have come a long way since then, we are free to express our feelings when ever we wish, so why not make every day Valentine’s Day and remind the people you love each and every day just how special they are. A note in their lunch, cook their favourite meal, give a hug for no reason, make an unexpected phone call/text just to say hi, put a candy on their pillow, a note on the fridge, make fresh baked cookies. . . there are endless things you can do. 😉

This is one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband and have been married for almost 22 years (together 26). He never waited for a special day to let me know he was thinking of me. He would surprise me with a poem in the mail even though we were already married, come home with a chocolate, a new carpet that I was telling him my mom used to have when I was growing up, a new nighty lying on my bed, a new shirt, perfume, bubble bath, an extra phone call during the day for no particular reason except to say “I was thinking about you!”

There you have it a bit of Valentine’s Day history, but for whatever reason you decide to let someone know that you are thinking about them I am sure it will bring a smile to their face . . . So get out there and tell them how you feel 😉

Valentine’s Day should be every day!




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 10:48:09

    Cute. Valentines everyday! Happy bloggentines, today.


  2. Trackback: The Legend Of The Sea Pearls | this man's journey

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