14 February 2013

Valentines Day

The blog-overse today will be a sea of red and pink. I'm briefly going to add my tuppence worth, then quietly retire.

I like Valentines Day. Not the crass over-hyped consumerism, but the idea that there is a day in the year just to celebrate someone loved. However, I don't think it should just be your partner (whatever flavour they are; best friend, married, civil partnership, long-term, short-term, just met) you celebrate, it should be everyone you love.

Use it as an excuse. Call your mum & listen to her chat about her garden, email your Sister, bake something for your Grandparents just 'cause, go out to lunch with a good friend!


I Love you Toast is the best kind of Toast

In the meantime, I found a few alternative Valentines traditions in the UK as food for thought on 'Everything Valentines Day';
  • It is traditionally believed in Sussex that birds choose their mate on 14th February, the beginning of spring and thus call it 'Birds’ Wedding Day’. On that day, if a robin flies overhead the woman will get married to a sailor; spotting a goldfinch would mean marrying a rich man, while if she saw a sparrow she would be destined to marry a poor man but will be happy.
  • Another tradition was that the names of suitor’s of an unmarried girl was written on paper and then wrapped in clay. The clay pieces were them immersed in water and the one the rose first would have the name of the future husband.
  • In Wales, a unique and beautiful custom on Valentine’s Day was to gift wooden spoons with custom design carved on them, such as hearts, keyholes and keys. The keys and keyholes were meant to represent the phrase “You unlock my heart!”
  • In the Middle Ages, names were drawn from bowls to know who their valentines were. The name was tagged on their sleeves for the next whole week.


...and continental Europe;
  • Valentine’s Day Cards are said to have originated in France before they materialized in any other country. A Frenchman, named Charles, Duke of Orleans has written the first written Valentine’s Day Cards. The Duke who was captured as war prisoner at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 is said to have written a Valentine message to his wife while imprisonment in the Tower of London.
  • Finnish Valentine’s Day is considered as the ’friendship day’. The bond of friendship is celebrated with sheer enthusiasm on this day.
  • One German story goes, there was a peasant revolt led by Duke Welf against King Conrad III. The King had pulled together a great army which overthrew the Duke’s fighters. As a result, peasants found themselves under siege. Lady Elizabeth, the wife of the Duke requested the King to let her and other wives leave the castle with whatever they could carry on their backs. The King agreed but got surprised to see them carry their husbands on their back on that Valentine’s Day.
  • In Denmark, young couples become cousins of Shakespeare on Valentine’s Day. Yes, they write beautiful romantic poems on the day. They write some special poems for their beloved, pointing out the character traits of their sweethearts in a romantic and humorous way. These love poems are known as 'Gaekkebrev.’
  • Food plays the major part in the Valentine’s celebration in Hungary. Honey sprinkled salmon, Fried vegetables and pasta, and Ginger marinated filet of duck breast served with pear-chardonnay sauce are some of the traditional recipes for the celebration of Valentine Day in Hungary.
For more, check out - Everything Valentines Day.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Ps. Boys if buying flowers, how about surprising the recipient with a bouquet of meanings? Helioptrope (devoted affection), Lisianthus (appreciation), Cactus (Ardent Love), Gladiolous (You pierce my heart) - or Clove (I have loved you and you have not known it).

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