And suddenly it is again…February…the month of love! Each year on February 14th, many people send cards, chocolate, gifts or flowers to their special “valentine.”
Valentine’s day became a holy day after Pope Gelasius I called out in the year 496 the “day of the holy valentine”.
Some say that Valentine’s day came to replace the pagan Roman feast of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a feast to celebrate the god Juno, who protected women and marriage and Pan, the god of nature. Single young women would write their name on a piece of paper that would be thrown in a wooden bucket. The single men would then pick one of these papers to find their new wife to be.
When Christianity took over Europe the pope banned this pagan feast on the 15th of February and changed it into “Saint Valentine’s day” on the 14th of February.
Who Saint Valentine truly is, is still unknown. There were two holy martyrs named Valentinus, a priest in Rome and a bishop in Terni. Both were killed in the 3rd century but some say these two could actually be one and the same person.
Funny enough the whole romantic side of Valentine’s day comes from a poem of Geoffrey Chaucer, known as the Father of English literature, called Parliament of Fowls:
“For this was on seynt Volantynys day.
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”
Which means something like “cause it was on Valentine’s day, that every bird comes to choose its mate”.
One of the oldest Valentine cards dates back to 1400. Most of them were beautiful hand written and painted and made from nice colored paper. The first printed Valentine card dates back to the early 1800th.
Nowadays we do much more than just a card, which is also often not anonymous, like it used to be, but nice gifts to your loved one or a romantic diner by candle light.
A tip from me for a special Valentine’s day is to be more personal and closer. Not just some flowers or chocolates, but breakfast in bed or a special evening together, maybe even a long romantic walk outside to watch the stars. February night skies are the best of the year. Many stars can be seen and what is more romantic than curl up together on a bench in the park and watch planet Venus, which was named after the goddess of love.
But every sign of love is good. Let the people know there is love and make that special person feel even more special on this beautiful day and all the days after!
Have a beautiful Valentine!