Valentine’s Day. Origin and Celebration
Valentine's Day. Origin
Very soon we are going to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. No one really knows the origin of it. There are many legends. According to one this day is connected with an ancient Roman Festival called Lupercalia. This was on February, 15 to honor the patron of husbandry.
The next story tells us that St. Valentine was a priest who would marry young couples secretly when the Roman Emperor Claudius 2 forbade marriages. He believed that single man were better soldiers.
Another story tells us about St. Valentine who was a good friend to children. He was against the Roman Gods and that is why he was put in prison. When he was imprisoned the children brought him loving letters. It was on February, 14.
Some people think that is why we give friendly and loving messages to each other on this day. Written valentines began in the 15th century. Paper valentines were especially popular in England. For a long time valentines were made by hand, but at the beginning of the 19th century factories began to make valentines. They were black and white pictures. Some of them were painted by workers in the factory. But most people bought pictures and did their own paintings.
Love SymbolsClick thumbnail to view full-size
There’re many symbols of Valentine’s Day
Here to the stories about some of them:
Heart. Emotions are feelings such as love, happiness, anger, or fear. A long time ago people believed that all the emotions were found in the heart. In later years they thought only the emotion of love was connected with the heart. The heart is still a symbol of love and because of this; it is also a symbol of Valentine’s Day.
Red Rose. The rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red is a color that stands for strong feelings. That is why the red rose is a flower of love.
Ribbons. Ribbons go back to the days when ladies gave ribbons to their favorite knights when they went to war.
Lace. Lace comes from a Latin word; it means “to catch”. Lace was supposed to catch the heart of a loved one. Lace is a pretty fabric made by weaving together fine threads. Hundreds of years ago women carried lace handkerchiefs. A man nearby might pick it up and return it to her. Sometimes a woman might see a man she wanted to meet. She might drop her lace handkerchief on purpose to encourage romance. Soon people thought of romance when they thought of lace. They began using paper lace to decorate chocolate boxes and Valentine cards.
Gloves. Years ago when a man proposed marriage to a woman he asked “for her hand”. The hand became the symbol of marriage and love. Soon gloves also became a symbol of love.
Rings. In some countries men and women exchange rings when they became engaged or marry. Two or three hundred years ago Valentine’s Day was a popular day for giving an engagement ring. The ring usually had stone or jewel set in it. Diamonds are common in today engagement rings.
Love knot. A love knot is a series of winding and interlacing loops with no beginning and no end. It is a symbol of endless love. People made love knots from ribbon or drew them on paper. Often, a message was written on the love knot. The message had no beginning or end. It could be repeated endlessly.
Love birds and Doves. Lovebirds are colorful parrots found in Africa. Most have red bills.
They are called love birds because they sit closely together in pairs. Doves were thought to be favorite birds of Venus. They remain with the same mates all their lives. The males and females both care for their babies. As these birds are symbols of loyalty and love they are also symbols of Valentine’s Day.
Cupid. Son of Venus, goddess of love. He could cause people to fall in love by piercing them with one of his magic arrows.
St. Valentine’s Day is a Day of love. So many poems were written about love. Let’s read some of them.
I Love You
I Love the way
you hold me,
When I have no one to turn to.
I love how you always convince me
Your love is so true.
I love the way you make me laugh
When I am feeling sad.
I love how seeing your smile
Can make me glad.
I love the way you are always there for me
When I really need you by my side.
I love how you understand me
And know exactly what's on my mind.
I love the way you make me feel
When you look into my eyes.
I love hearing you say that you love me
And know that you're not telling me lies.
I love the way you hold my hand and protect me
When I am feeling scared.
I love knowing that
You will always be there.
I love the way you kiss me
And how you always know what to do.
I love all of those stupid things
But most of all I Love You!
Poems sound so sweet because they are about love and friendship.