Why do we celebrate a day of love on February 14th? How did it all come about?
Apparently there were a few “St Valentines” in ancient history. It is unclear just which “St Valentine” is behind this modern day tradition. One story proclaims a priest who secretly married young lovers against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II who proclaimed single men made better warriors.
Another says it’s actually another Valetine who helped Christians escape Roman prisons only to find himself imprisoned. Legend has it he sent the first “Valentine” to a girl he loved. He signed it “From Your Valentine”.
Aaaahh Myths, the beauty and romance. Take your pick.
No matter how or who began the “Valentine” greeting, it is widely celebrated with great enthusiasm around the world.
Well, perhaps more enthusiasm on the part of women who purchase about 85% of all valentines. That’s right! Us ladies just love to send out the cards. We may, however, expect much more in return. It seems that on average, men shell out $130 each on candy, cards, jewelry, flowers and dates.
Sweet! Well, maybe not. Women are finicky. I can say that because I am one. A few days after Valentines Day we will most likely start complaining about the pounds we gained through these generous gifts!
Here’s a few fun facts for Valetines Day that I found while scouring the internet.
1. During Medieval times, girls/women thought if they ate strange foods on Valentines Day they would dream of their future husbands. Strange foods, hmmm. Perhaps it was merely delerium from food poisoning.
2. In the middle ages, men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be. Then they wore that name on their sleeve for a week. Hence, wearing your heart on your sleeve. Today we have spin the bottle, same thing, only it’s a party game.
3. In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”
4. Traditionally on Valentine’s Day in a leap year – every four years – women can propose marriage to their partner. I think we’re past this one. Or are we? I’d like to think I’d propose marriage (if I wasn’t already married) but….I’d like to know how the majority rules on this one.
Do you do anything special for Valentines Day? Dinner? Movie? Something else? Or is it just a gimmick?