|Valentine Day Blog Hop|
For my contribution to the gift giving, I will be giving away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon OR ARe and one copy of my latest ebook, A Lover for Rachel, each and every day from February 11 through February 14 from the group of commentors. Wait – there’s more! Everyone will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing for a $25 Amazon or ARe gift card and a copy of the entire Santa’s Elves collection in ebook. The Grand Prize drawing will take place February 15. How’s that for a fantastic Valentine’s gift?
Today, I’d love to look at the Valentine’s Day itself and its origins. While most of you might think they aren’t romantic, I would beg to differ. Valentine Day started in 496 A.D. by Pope Gelasius I in honor of the many church martyrs named Saint Valentine. Pop Paul VI deleted it off the official Roman Calendar of saints in 1969, so it has no affiliation with church at all.
We have Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages to thank for associating the day with romantic love. Chaucer wrote in Parlement of Foules in 1382 and combined Valentine’s Day with love. Here are those famous lines:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Roughly translated that means, “For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” Isn’t old English grand? LOL! Chaucer wrote this poem to honor the 1st anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. They married when they were just fifteen years old.
A “High Court of Love” was established in Valentine’s Day in 1400 in the romantic city of Paris. That particular court dealt only with issues that involved love such as contracts, betrayals and violence against women. The judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading.
Even the Bard himself mentions Valentine’s Day in the play Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5. It goes something like this:
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
Modern day Valentine’s more than likely started in Victorian England where paper Valentines became so popular that they were assembled in factories. Leigh Eric Schmidt reinvented Valentines for England in the 1840s while Ester Howland did the same in the US in 1847. The second half of the 20th century found the practice of just exchanging cards was changing to include all sorts of gifts such as roses and chocolates, many packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s the diamond industry began to take notice and prompted many to make it an occasion for giving jewelry. In 2010, there were an estimated 15 million e-valentines sent to Valentine’s all over the world.
Can one get any more romantic than that?
Please continue on with the blog hop at Valentine Blog Hop Event Page and hope to see you back here tomorrow!