Valentines day is upon us. I know a lot of us never go any further than making sure that we buy our wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend those flowers and chocolates or nice jewelry. That is usually the extent of how much thought that I put into this holiday but I have spent the day today thinking about how the day was created, some traditions and such that go with the day.
It all started in the 18th century with an association of romantic love in the high middle ages. So this one doesn’t have the roots that some other holidays do and how far back they go. Even in the beginning of celebrating this holiday the tradition of giving flowers, cards, and presents have occurred. For the longest time the Roman Catholic churches had the feast of St. Valentine, in 1969 the calendar of saints was revised and that was the end of the holiday on the roman catholic calendar. There is not alot known of this saint except that his remains are buried in Via Flaminia on February 14th. Some Catholic people still celebrate this day that are using the old calendar of saints. In eastern Orthodox beliefs Valentines day is celebrated on July 6th which is when they celebrate the Roman presbyter of St. Valentine. There are many stories and beliefs about this Saint but he is not like St. Micheal and the well know Saints such as this.
In England a character named Jack Valentine knocks on the rear door of the house and leaves candy and presents for children. It is kind of funny because this character is one that is known for being scary to the children. In Slovenia, Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health, and is also known for being the patron of beekeeping and pilgramage. Zdravko is translated as St. Valentine. I think that Zdravko is way more fun to say than Saint Valentine but that’s just me. In this country they also say that the day of celebration is the day that birds propose to each other and marry each other and that is the reason for so much chatter from the winged animals at this time of year. In China they call this day lovers festival and is celebrated on the 7th day of each month. The day of February 14th can not be celebrated each year like in America because it is too close to the Chinese new year. They use the 7th day because this is the day of which the cow herder and weaving maid are allowed to be together. According to the legend the two are separated by the milky way but on this day the two can be connected. In Finland, the day is known as friends day and is a day in which you honor your friends living and dead. France celebrates the day much like we do in America . It is crazy how many different ways that this holiday is treated in different places around the world.
The holiday in the old days was much more so that of the beginning of the cold winter winding down and the return of birds, rabbits, and all the other animals that we don’t see during the freezing cold months passing and the warmth and love coming back into the air. Much like a celebration of spring that we see coming during the holiday celebrated in late March or early April this is a way to say goodbye to the cold temperatures and snow. It has been a long and cold winter here in Ohio and I’m sure that celebrating Valentines day with our loved ones next Friday is as good of a way as any to say go away old man winter and come on home beautiful spring. I know that I didn’t leave any lovespells or ways to draw in love so if you have any of those feel free to share those in the comments too! Have a great time on your Valentines dates!! If you have any Valentines traditions or things that you have studied leave them in the comments, I just thought that learning more about the way that this day came about and ways that it is celebrated in other countries would be a fun way to spend my Sunday evening. Thanks for reading the blog and hope to see you all soon!! -Ian