The History of Valentine's Day

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Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones
One legend contends 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. Saint Valentine as a priest at the temple during the reign, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be jailed and put to death. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.
Some states that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity also attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. Who was then killed and died on February 14, 269 A.D., this day had been devoted to love giving.
Some says that actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter who visited him during his confinement, whom he fell in love with. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed "From Your Valentine" an expression that is still in use today.
While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial.
Others claim that the Christian church may celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping and sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. The festival begin with members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. All the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn, city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February "Valentine's Day" should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. 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. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (the first was Christmas).Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Finding a Date for Valentine’s Day




Finding a Date for Valentine’s Day

If you are looking for a date for Valentine’s Day, you can rest assured that you are not alone. People around the world love celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone they love. For those who are in committed relationships, this is usually pretty easy. However, for those who are single or even dating, finding a date for Valentine’s Day can be a difficult task. This article will take a look at a few different scenarios and provide advice for finding a date for Valentine’s Day in each situation.

Couples in a committed relationship, do not usually find themselves alone on Valentine’s Day. For these couples it is generally assumed that unless work or other obligations interfere, they will be spending Valentine’s Day together. However, just because it is assumed does not always mean everything works out as planned. In fact it can be the source of problems for couples around Valentine’s Day. Couples who assume they will be spending Valentine’s Day together may also assume their partner is taking care of making plans for the special day. However, if both of the partners make this assumption, the couple may find themselves spending Valentine’s Day alone because neither of them made plans. To avoid this problem, couples should avoid making assumptions and verbalize their plans for the day.

Couples who have only been dating for a short time may have a great deal of difficulty getting a date for Valentine’s Day and making plans for the day. This is because the partners may not yet feel secure enough in the relationship to know whether or not their partner will want to celebrate the day with them. This can be a turning point in a relationship as the couple tries to determine how they feel about each other and whether or not they want to spend Valentine’s Day together. Couples in this type of relationship should carefully evaluate their own feelings and determine what they are looking for in the relationship before bringing up the subject with the partner. This is a good idea because it helps to ensure the couple is not simply getting caught up in the spirit of the holiday and that they really love each other. If you have only been dating someone for a short time but feel strongly about going on a date with her on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and ask her out. The worst that can happen is she says no. While this may ruin your plans for the big day, it will give you a better understanding of where your relationship stands.

Those who are single may have the most difficult time finding a date for Valentine’s Day. In one scenario and individual may be single but also secretly pining for another they would love to spend Valentine’s Day. In this case, if the person they admire is also single, it is worthwhile to just go ahead and ask her out. Again, she may say no but she also might say yes. If she says yes, you may end up having a great time on your Valentine’s Day date and it may lead to future dates. On the other hand, if she says no, you haven’t really lost anything because you didn’t have plans anyway and you can still plan on getting together with friends for Valentine’s Day.

Finally, if you are single and do not really have someone you want to spend a romantic Valentine’s Day; you can just plan to get together with a good friend or a group of friends on this day instead. Going out to dinner or to a movie is a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day even if you aren’t actually on a date. Valentine’s Day is about love but it doesn’t always have to be a romantic kind of love. You can have a great time on Valentine’s Day with a really good friend or any family members close to your heart and do not always have to plan a romantic date for Valentine’s Day.
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