Valentine’s Day is here, and I think a little focus on love and romance could be a good for all of us. As I think about the celebration it brings up childhood memories of shopping with my mother for Valentine cards to give to my classmates and friends. What patience she had while I checked out all the packages. Since almost all the cards looked alike with hearts and Cupids you would think it would be a quick process. But no…I always had a design in mind when I went shopping for those cards. That “design in mind” quirk is still with me today. I have rooms in my house that I feel do not look finished since I am still looking for those items that I “had in mind”.
If you are short on time, let me just wish you a healthy and safe Valentine’s Day. I hope you will stop by my store and see what is new over the next few weeks. I have more silver that just arrived from France and England along with the most beautiful French panels with carved reliefs of game birds. Several new equestrian themed inkwells have already been listed. For those that have the time; I did a bit of research on Valentine’s Day recently
Why is the day called Valentine? Why Cupids? Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world and there are many theories about its start. Some historians believe the celebration started to honor two different men named Valentine. They both met their untimely demise due to Emperor Claudius II of Rome. One was St Valentine of Terni. He was accused of ministering to Christians persecuted by the Roman Empire.
A legend began and was transformed through the years as it was passed down. It is said that he wrote a letter to a young girl he tutored and fell in love with while in prison. The letter was prior to his death and signed, “your Valentine”. Another legend (which is possibly true) refers to him marrying Roman soldiers which was forbidden. Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of St Augustine in honor of Saint Augustine of Rome and Saint Augustine of Terni in the year AD 496.
One literature professor who studied the origins feel it was the writer Chaucer that linked love with St Augustine together in several of his 14th Century writings. He claims that at the time of Chaucer’s work the first day of Spring in England was February 14th and coincided with birds mating season. Birds, love, adoration, St Valentine, February 14th. and Chaucer. I have not read either of these works; however, it would be interesting to dive into them and explore. But now we are getting closer to the celebration we know today.
The English continued to fine tune Valentine’s Day. In 18th Century England the day was celebrated by giving signed cards, confections, and flowers to loved ones. Along the way Cupid became a symbol of the celebration as he was the son of Venus (Goddess of love and beauty). He had a penchant for shooting Gods and humans with arrows causing them to fall in love.
There are other theories about the celebration that are a bit on the dark side. I think most of us would like to just focus on those chubby little cherubs, chocolate, and Champagne on the 14th. Wishing you good health and safety for Valentine’s Day!