Aside

What  can u see today, a Robin, Sparrow or Goldfinch?Happy Valentine’s Day

The History.

February 14th is celebrated as the day of love and romance all over the world in the form of Valentine’s Day. The celebration is an amalgamation of both ancient Roman as well as Christian traditions. The origin of Valentine’s Day is veiled under lots of mysteries.
According to some legends, it is believed that Valentine was a priest during Emperor Claudius II’s reign in Rome in third Century. The Emperor outlawed marriages for the young soldiers when he realized that unmarried men make better soldiers than the married men with families. Valentine withstood the decree of Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were disclosed to the Emperor, he ordered Valentine to be killed.

Another story depicts that Valentine was put to death because he used to help the Christians to escape from the Roman jails where they were tortured and beaten severely.

As per other legends, it was Valentine who sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While he was in prison he fell in love with a young girl – probably the jailor’s daughter who visited him during his captivity. It is believed that before his death he wrote a letter to the girl signing “From your Valentine” which is still widely used.

Some believe that the celebration of Valentine’s Day started around 270 AD to commemorate the death of Valentine. However other opines that Valentine’s Day was celebrated to Christianize the pagan festival ‘Lupercalia’. The festival was dedicated to Faunus – the Roman God of agriculture as well as Romulus and Remus who are the founders of Rome.

The festival begins with the member of Puperci which is an order of the Roman priests gather at the sacred cave where it is believed the founders of Rome were cared by a she-wolf or ‘lupa’. The priests then for purification sacrifice a dog and for fertility sacrifice a goat. Afterwards, the boys would slice the goat’s hide and dip them into the holy blood and used to take them to the streets slapping gently the women and crops. This used to ensure more fertility. During the later half of the day, the young unmarried women used to put their names in a huge urn and the bachelors of the city used to pick up the names to get paired with. This often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared St. Valentine’s Day on 14th February around 498 AD. The oldest Valentine’s Day note that exists today is a poem written by Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Tradition.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world with much enthusiasm. It is the time to celebrate love and to pamper the beloved. Throughout the world, there are several customs and traditions which are followed.

In ancient England, children used to dress up like adults and visit homes singing love songs. In Wales, lovers exchange wooden love spoons.

During the middle ages, the young unmarried men and women used to draw names from the bowl to see who their valentines would be and then they would wear the names on their sleeves for a week.

In some countries it is believed that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on this day then she will get married to a sailor, if she sees a sparrow then she will get married to a poor man but she will be very happy. A woman who sees a goldfinch on this day will get married to a millionaire.

Nowadays though these traditions might not exist but the custom of giving gifts and cards to the near and dear ones are still in practice.

Symbols.

No festival or celebration is complete without symbols and Valentine’s Day cannot be an exception. The colors of Valentine’s Days are red, pink and white. Given below the symbols of the season:

  • Hearts:Since the ancient times, hearts signify love and the place of all human emotions. Gifting heart means giving everything a person has selflessly to the person he or she loves.
  • Ribbons, Laces and Frills: They have become a part of love since the time when the knights used to go to the battlefield wearing the scarf or handkerchief presented by his ladylove. During the ancient times usually when a lady wanted to draw the attention of the man, she used to drop her handkerchief.
  • Cupid: Cupid or Eros in Greek was the son of the Roman and Greek goddess of love Venus (Aphrodite in Greek). He is depicted as a chubby, naked winged boy with wings carrying a bow and a quiver with arrows. It is believed that Cupid makes people to fall in love.
  • Roses: Since the ancient times, roses are associated with love. Rearranging the letters for the word ‘Rose’ we get the word ‘Eros’ – the god of love. In a Roman legend, it is said that there was a beautiful girl named Rodanthe who had many suitors. Their ardent love made them to break the doors of her house which made goddess Diana infuriated. She turned Rodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.The colors of roses also express different sentiments and emotions. For example:
  • Red: Love, Respect, Beauty and Passion
  • White: Innocence, Purity, Silence and True Love
  • Yellow: Friendship, Joy, and Hope
  • Peach: Admiration, Sympathy and Gratitude
  • Orange: Fascination and Passionate Thoughts.

Doves and Love Birds:It is believed that on 14th February birds choose their mates. Doves and pigeons signify loyalty as they mate with their partners through out their life.

Love Birds are a kind of parrots found in Africa and are always seen in a pair. Hence they signify love.

Love Knots :

The fashion of sending love knots is traced backed to the Arabic traditions where young Muslim Women in traditional and orthodox households expressed their love and affection via the medium of love knots. These women used to sent their love messages to their beloved one’s woven in the knots of a carpet. The concept of love knots continues to exist even to this day.

Adapted from http://www.funmunch.com.

Photocredits: Google images, Gettyimages

What can u see today, a Robin, Sparrow or Goldfinch?Happy Valentine’s Day

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