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Notes on a Valentine Birthday
I was born on Valentine's Day many moons ago. I have had a lifetime of heart shaped cakes and gifts wrapped in red and white tissue and I have loved every minute of it.I've enjoyed being a Valentine Birthday girl so much that I hope to mark off many more Valentines Days on my calendar before I blow out that final candle on the cake.
Valentines Day has a wonderful energy. There are no heavy religious or patriotic overtones. It is all about love, romance, flowers and chocolate. Personally, I'm more into chocolate these days than romance, but it used to be the other way around.There is something for everybody on Valentines Day. Toddlers. geezers, and everybody in between--everybody has a good time.
If you are going to be born on a holiday, Valentines Day is definitely the one to choose. First of all, when people ask you when your birthday is and you tell them, they always smile and usually you get a big "awwwwwww" too. Secondly, there is a good chance that they will actually remember your birthday, it being an international holiday and all. And last, but certainly not least, a Valentine birthday is better than Christmas as you don't have to compete with the baby Jesus for attention and nobody is going to give you a combination birthday and Christmas gift, although you will end up with a lot of heart shaped items.
Since I have always really regarded Valentines Day as my personal property,I know a lot about it. I've always thought it was nice that the world had a holiday to celebrate on my birthday, but to me, especially when I was a child, the main event of the day was, in the immortal words of Miss Piggie, "moi."
Nevertheless, I've picked up a bit of Valentine info over the years.
Who Was St. Valentine Anyway
It seems there were at least three St. Valentines, all of whom were priests and martyrs. Even the Church is not sure which St. Valentine is which, however, St Valentines Day was made official by Pope Gelasius in 496AD. The celebration of February 14th as a special day for lovers goes back much further, to the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia.
The eve of Lupercalia ( February 14th) was set aside to honor Juno, queen of the gods and patroness of women and marriage. The names of Roman girls were placed in a jar and the boys picked the name of a girl out of the jar at random and the two were paired for the two weeks of Lupercalia. Many betrothals and marriages came out of this custom. Lupercalia itself was basically a fertility festival in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who is said to have suckled Romulus and Remus the legendary founders of Rome.
Later it became associated with the mating of birds and the rebirth of Spring.The custom of marriage lotteries was carried over to Valentines Day celebrations in medievil Europe. Cards and love letters were associated with the holiday by the 16th century. The traditional lacy heart shaped valentine came into vogue in Victorian times. These days, whether it's kindergarteners cutting and pasting paper hearts, courting couples dining by candlelight, or teenagers texting one another Valentine greetings it's still all about love and romance.
Who could ask for a better day to be born on?