Valentine’s Day in history & Valentine Secrets
Tue, 2011-07-12 15:55 — admin
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Archived from February 14-20, 2008 MALAYSIAN TODAY
Valentine’s Day in history
THE celebration of exchanging cards, gifts and expressing of the innermost feelings goes way back to the days of yore. This celebration which is accepted as a holiday in several
countries dates back to the Greco-Roman Pagan Period.
There are various theories that discuss the existence of Valentine’s Day. Some perceive
it as a religious day but it is widely accepted as a fertility festival and as a mating
period for birds. In Ancient Athens, the month of February is associated with love and
fertility. The period between mid-January and mid-February was apparently the month
of Gamelion. It was a month dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera (The
Greek Gods). In ancient Rome, Lupercia which is the festival in honour of Luperas (the God of Fertility) is celebrated on February 15. As part of a purification ritual, the priests of Lupercus
would sacrifice goats and dogs to the God. After drinking wine, they would run through
the streets of Rome striking anyone they met with pieces of the goat skin. Young women would come forth voluntarily for the occasion, believing that being touched by the goat skin would render them fertile. Young men would also draw names from an urn, choosing their “blind date” for the coming year.There is also mention of Valentine in Christianity. There were three saints who had the same name, St Valentine. Several legends have developed around them. One account
talks about the Valentine who defied Emperor Claudius II. He had outlawed marriages of
all young men as he believed that unmarried men make better soldiers. Valentine was poisoned and put to death as he continued to get young couples married. Another legend talks about Valentine writing letters from prison to his beloved, signing them as “from your Valentine”.
The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love was in the 14th century in England and France. It was believed that February 14 was the day where birds paired off to
mate. It is also becoming common during this era for lovers to exchange love notes on Valentine’s Day. The first Valentine’s Day card was apparently sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans,
to his wife in 1415 when he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. Valentine’s Day love notes were often given anonymously. This is probably how the legend of St Valentine developed. By the 1850s, the Parisians, renowned for their romantic and amarous ways began embellishing their Valentine’s cards with shiny paper, ribbons a
Before you go running out to get your love his or her Valentine’s gift, for more impact, you might want to know the meaning associated with your present; purple roses would tell your other half that it was love at first sight for you’d lace. THINK Valentine’s and almost instantaneously, we are reminded of the usual heart-shape candies and beautiful coloured flowers. Of course, today, there’s a wider selection of gifts. Still, the day’s celebration would certainly not feel the same without the more traditional, romantic items: like Easter without the eggs. The rose is known as the flower of passion and love. The red rose is also said to be the favourite flower of Venus, the goddess of love, which helped give the rose its symbolic meaning. While red roses are the most common choice when it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are other colours you could chose from as each are endowed with a specific meaning. So before you rush off to order some Valentine’s
Day roses for your sweetie, it might be a good idea to find out exactly what messages these flowers will convey upon their arrival: • RED ROSES: Symbolises romantic love.• PURPLE ROSES: These flowes signify that the giver had fallen in love with the recipient at first sight.
• CORAL OR ORANGE ROSES: These roses signal desire. • YELLOW ROSES: For happiness and friendship. • PINK OR PEACH ROSES: These colours express gratitude and appreciation. Light pink Valentine’s Day roses express feelings of sympathy. • WHITE ROSES: To show admiration and humility. And here are more meanings behind the other symbols associated with Lovers’ Day: • LACE Centuries ago, a woman would drop her handkerchief in front of the man she liked. This was a form of encouragement to him, and if he picked it up for her an introduction could bemade. Lace has always been part of women’s handkerchiefs, and it has since been linked to romance. If you think there are still enough chivalrous guys out there, you might want to
try this out. • CUPID He is the winged cherub whose arrows are shot into the hearts of potential lovers. His victims are supposed to fall deeply in love with someone. In both Greek and Roman mythology Cupid is the son of the goddess of love and is always part of the celebration of love and lovers. • THE HEART The heart is linked to Valentine’s Day because it is considered the source of all human emotions. The custom of drawing a heart shape is believed to come from early attempts to draw an organ no one had ever seen. The symbol progressed to become
known as a sign of love. Why does an X mean a kiss? Back in the olden days, a lot of people
couldn’t read or write. When they had to sign a document, they would mark it with an ‘X’ in place of their name. In front of witnesses the signatory would kiss the X to show themselves trustworthy. The kiss has since come to be represented by an X. • BIRDS Lovebirds are often seen as a part of Valentine’s Day. Found in Africa, these brightly colored birds sit very close together with their mates, earning them their name. Doves are also part of the tradition. They
are symbols of love and loyalty because they mate for life. A pair of doves will share the duty of caring for all their birdlings together. • LOVE KNOTS A love knot is a symbol of everlasting love,
because its winding loops have no beginnings or ends. In past times, they were made of ribbon or drawn on paper to prove one’s undying love.