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Monday, February 1, 2010

Mystic Monday

Love and Valentine's Day

Some of you may have noticed the nicknames we're giving to each month, but some of you may not have, so I thought I'd take a moment to mention them.  It was just one of the ways we decided to spice up our site, and they debuted with the new look.  So far, we've had Paranormal October, Noble November, Decalescent December, Jacuzzi January and now we begin Fiery February.

February seems to be the month that focuses on love, which makes sense when you take Valentine's Day into account.

But what is Valentine's Day?   

Originally, it started out as St. Valentine's Day and was a feast to honor a religious figure by the name of Valentine who was martyred on February 14th.  In none of the historical recordings has there ever been any romantic link between any St. Valentine (there were a few) and love until the time of Chaucer (classic author from the 1300s).  There is one suggestion that seems to be promoted by the history channel even though there isn't a lot of evidence to back this up - Valentine was a priest who opposed the "no marriage" rule of the Roman Emperor Claudius II and secretly performed marriages.  As a consequence, it is said that Valentine was martyred for this treasonous act.     

However, in Ancient Rome, Lupercalia was observed from February 13th to February 15th.  Lupercalia was an archaic rite, possibly from pre-Roman times, to purify the city of evil or avert it altogether and promote good health and fertility.

So, perhaps Claudius II had Valentine killed during the observance of Lupercalia to "hurt" or "undo" the marriages that the priest committed and thus destroy the significance of the observance.

It's also possible that the Roman Catholic Church picked the February 14th date in an effort to convert pagan followers to Christianity and thus bury the original significance of the date.

Because it seems that there had never been any correlation between St. Valentine's Day and romantic love, many tend to believe that people had misinterpreted a poem that Chaucer wrote as well as the time of the year.  He mentions a "seynt Volantynys" day, but he just as easily could have been referring to the day for Valentine of Genoa which is in May.  

So, what do you think is the right answer, or does it matter?  Have we truly lost what it means?  Do you prefer our modern day version?  What would you like to do to celebrate the day?  

5 Moonbeams (comments):

susan said...

what a nice article. I learn something new each day. I the first to comment? Do I get a chocolate heart? I think I like this site. I am new here but will be a regular as I found out some nice things here. susan L.

susan said...

In answer to your questions on Valentine's Day. It is for sure that we lost the true meaning but I think it really doesn't matter anymore. I enjoy the modern day version and think it should be this way now. At least now more love is shown and let's face it..this world needs love. I will celebrate the day with a nice cnadlelight dinner with my hubby and will no doubt get some candy and a gift card. He looks forward to a special dinner. I have already surprized him and taken him out for his dinner as well. We treat each other special which I feel is fair. He is my Valentine and I am his. susan L.

Gracen Miller said...

Welcome to the moonlight, Susan! I'm excited you joined us!

Carrie, I think we've lost the true meaning of Valentine's Day (like all holidays), but mostly because the holiday is so commercialized. I'd like to get back to my boys making something for me, like a Valentine's Day card, instead of buying me one. I don't keep cards, but if it was homemade you bet your stars I'd keep it!

Great post, Carrie!



Carrie said...

Hi Susan and welcome to our site! - Yes, you do win a chocolate heart, but it is virtual so there are no calories!

See, I like it when my husband makes me stuff too, but I also seem to appreciate it more when it comes on a "for no special reason" basis.

My favorite gifts happen every day. Like today. I came from taking his mom out to run some errands and when I got home, he had cleaned the remaining dishes and had cleaned the stove and counters.

That was a gift I appreciate. Sure, it's something that has to be done and I don't mind doing it, but I'm glad I didn't have to do it because now I'll have more free time to read!

Molly Daniels said...

Twenty years ago, my ideal V-day was to receive flowers or chocolate from my guy, and to be taken out to eat. Now, I cook an extra-special meal for everyone in exchange for some peace and quiet:) And a nice meal somewhere else after the the tax check arrives...