Although February 14th is Valentines’ Day; the day that is designated to celebrate our love to the special people in our lives; February is also noted as the month of Love and Romance.
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Tradition is usually that you all enjoy a special dinner with your favorite wine and heart shaped chocolate dessert. Some may receive beautiful cards laden with poems and verses that make your heart flutter, or roses with the fragrance of love. Maybe a delicious box of chocolates, or a cuddly stuffed animal.. that sends the message of tender love. Perhaps an early morning phone call, echoing Happy Valentines Day, “I love you more today than yesterday”.
The ultimate heart stopper is a surprise marriage proposal, highlighted with an engagement ring; that was resting in the bottom of the champagne glass, or maybe the romantic Romeo, who on bended knee is asking to share your life forever. If you don’t get the chance to do any of the above on Valentine’s Day; you have the rest of the month to shine; because February is the month of Love and Romance. Now get moving, and do something spectacular for that special someone in your life.
Did you ever wonder who this mysterious saint was, and where did these traditions come from?
The history of St. Valentine’s Day and its patron saint is rather obscure and shrouded in mystery, and further clouded by various fanciful legends.
There are many legends as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. Many experts believe that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also has it that St. Valentine left a love letter for the jailer’s daughter, who he had fallen in love with, and signed it “From Your Valentine”.
Another expert states that St. Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the Reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine.
It was not until the 14th century that this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According to UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance.
The tradition of sending Valentine cards did not become widespread in the United States until the 1850’s, when Esther Holland, a Mount Holyoke graduate and native of Worcester, MA began mass producing them. Today, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. The Greeting Card Association states that 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.
This year a lot of people will be dining in and preparing a meal at home to celebrate their love. To help ease the menu planning, I have a great meal planned for Valentines Day, click here to try it.