Since Valentine's Day is coming soon, I wanted to share this lovely article with you. Enjoy!
Valentine traditions date back as far as the Middle Ages. When Valentine's Day was created it was not meant to be a time for lovers. However, this quickly changed. There have been many stories about St. Valentine, who he was and what he did for people. Occasionally, the history of the event is sensationalized to make a better story than it is. However, whether it was meant to be for lovers or not, February 14th was chosen, and ended up being the perfect choice for lovers to celebrate.
In nature, mid-February, around the 14th, birds begin to choose their mates. Songbirds begin to appear from winter, slowly during this time, as well. Poets such as Chaucer, Michael Drayton, and Robert Herrick immortalized Valentine's Day, writing poems about love and romance. With all of this behind Valentine's Day it is no wonder that there are special traditions and celebrations for lovers each year.
Valentine's Day traditions are different in every culture around the globe. While nearly every country celebrates the special day, how it is celebrated will vary greatly. While in America the traditions and customs are all romantically based, in other areas of the world some of the past customs have been more about the future and less about the celebration of your current lover.
For example, old English customs often had a woman searching and hoping for her future husband to come along. One custom had a woman visiting a graveyard on the eve of Valentine's Day at midnight. If she went through with it she would then sing a chant and run around the church twelve times she might then see what her future husband would look like. Meanwhile, in Great Britain women would write the names of their suitors and place them on clay balls. The balls were to be sunk into water. Whichever ball floated to the top first would contain the name of the man they were to marry.
One of the first traditions for Valentine's Day ensured that the pairing future lovers would occur. Names of women that were available would be placed into a large wooden bowl. Eligible bachelors would pick a name and that would be the woman to become his Valentine. The man would wear the name of this girl on his sleeve for one week. If you've heard of the saying about wearing someone's heart on your sleeve, and wondered where it came from, this may be where the phrase first started.
In Wales gifts of wooden love spoons would be carved out and given to lovers or people that they were in love with. The spoons were often carved into keyholes, keys, and hearts. This would show the person who received it that they held the key to someone's heart.
Meanwhile, in other countries women would receive gifts of special clothing from men who loved them. If a woman decided to keep a man's gift then it meant that she was accepting a proposal of marriage. There are many other customs that have occurred throughout history, though these were some of the most popular.
Today, Valentine's Day is all about your current lover. Celebrations occur that include romantic dinners, sensual trysts, and gifts that only lovers should give to one another. This one day of the year allows for the most romantic gestures to occur. On this day there are numerous proposals, weddings, and renewal of vows or declarations of love. It is and will always be one of the most romantic days for lovers, in history.
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