Posted 2/9/22

BY BEA WESTERBERG Hearts, flowers and candy If it’s February, it must be the month of the Valentine, and it’s always on the same day, February 14th. Its a lot different than the Easter holiday …

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Hearts, flowers and candy

If it’s February, it must be the month of the Valentine, and it’s always on the same day, February 14th. Its a lot different than the Easter holiday that needs a lot of work to figure out when it is. (Or do the easy way and just look at the calendar). I suppose if I was in the flower business having prime sales in February would be a good income thing, but I would probably be worrying full time about so many expensive flowers getting frostbite from my place to yours. Yes, people in the business have figured out details of that “problem” so I should pick something else to worry about. I am going to tap www:mentalfloss.com/article/655048/valentines-day-facts to share some moments of wisdom on this subject.

It probably did begin back in Rome about 2,000 years ago but the party planners back then had a few different ideas. It called for a lot to drink and clothing was optional. This was a 3 day event called “Lupercalia” and it was not a safe time for animals to be in town. No valentine cards were on hand to bring joy.

Another problem is trying to figure out just who this Saint Valentine guy was. Talk about rumors! Some say he was a priest in Rome who was marrying people in secret so the men did not have to go to war. There are lots of other “Valentine” stories including one of a great Valentine guy from Africa. Mentalfloss.com says the Catholic Church dropped Saint Valentine from its General Roman Calendar in 1969 but still considers him (whoever he is) a saint. This guy sure needs a good PR person on his side. After all, he is not only the saint of lovers, he is also said to protect beekeepers, people who faint, traveling people, and people with epilepsy. He might need a pay raise!

Around the 5th Century, the wild party times tamed a bit. Pope Gelasius said enough of the old non-church like ways but did say the people could celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14.

Saint Valentine has been written about by writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. It would have been nice if they had started some serious fact checking back then. The first Valentine’s Day card was said be written in 1477 by Charles, the French Duke of Orleans, to his wife who was being held in the Tower of London. No information had been given about what this poem had to say or why she was in prison. The Tower of London did not have the best reviews, especially back in those days.

Fast forward to 1861 when the FIRST box of chocolates was exchanged and became an instant hit and has remained a main stay of the holiday. Cadbury was the company that started the whole thing but did not patent it. Cards also had their time and various people had their hand in making that a necessary item for the day. The Hallmark company was one of the companies that started with Valentine’s Day cards. Maybe most of us remember our school days and Valentine’s Day. For some it was good but I really did not like that day as it became a “who is popular” day. I do remember that sometimes the teachers would bring cookies so that would have been a high point for me.

Valentine’s Day was not always a nice thing in the Victorian Days. Nasty, anonymous notes and poems were sent that criticized the person who got the card for having unwanted suitors, family members with unattractive shortcomings and probably anything else that came to the senders brain. Remember they did not have TV to help them along with ideas so these had to be their own creations. The term “Vinegar Valentines” would have been a very proper title for these messages. Go to the website I listed above and get a lot more information on this Red Day. I am only sending very good thoughts to all my loyal readers! Sweet Valentines!