This blog has the title of my 4th book; the first in the 'Sofia Trilogy'. Other books are 'Time & Tide', 'No Regrets', 'Stay in Touch', and the second and third of the 'Sofia Trilogy', Sofia's Legacy' and 'Love You Forever'. For more info on any of these books please look at blogs in the Archive from August to September 2016. Thank you!
Friday, 14 February 2014
Today is Friday 14th February, traditionally known as St. Valentine's Day.
This is a day when people declare their love for each other by giving a card, chocolates, flowers or special gifts. Cards used to be anonymous and one was left guessing as to whom the sender might be. It would be signed with a question mark or simple phrase, like 'from an admirer'. I still remember my first Valentine card when I was thirteen with that phrase on it. It was also something to boast about among one's peer group. Who had received the most cards? Over the years it has become commercialized and seen as a great opportunity for profit. Hence, traditional gifts of roses or chocolates suddenly rise dramatically in price.
In Britain there have been many traditions associated with this day. In a spirit of fun or perhaps because spring was in the air after the long winter, and the birds were beginning to pair off, boys and girls in the Middle Ages drew slips of paper out of a hat and accepted the one whose name was on his or her slip as sweetheart, or valentine, for a year. This custom is mentioned at the time of Chaucer (1340-1400). The lottery always took place on St. Valentine's Eve.
Other traditions developed through the years:
The first man an unmarried woman saw on February 14th would be her future husband.
If a woman saw a robin flying over head on this day she would marry a sailor; if she saw a sparrow she would marry a poor man but if she saw a goldfinch she would be lucky enough to marry a rich man. Just imagine all those unmarried women rushing around desperate to see a goldfinch!
So, who was this St. Valentine?
There are several saints associated with this name but two saints, a priest and a bishop were traditionally martyred near Rome on February 14th circa 270 and the Church observes their festival on that day.
Another theory is that the custom came from a similar Roman occasion in honour of Juno Februalis and the use of a saint for that day is due to Christians improving a pagan custom they were unable to stamp out.
Anyway, enjoy the day and hopefully you will receive chocolates, flowers or some special gift or treat from your amorous other half.