Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers. It is also a day to celebrate the bond between  family and friends.

There is a commonly held belief that, during the Middle Ages, people in England and France thought that birds started to look for a mate from February 14. This popular notion further strengthened the idea that Valentine's Day should be celebrated as the day of love and romance. The concept soon gained ground amongst lovers and they began to celebrate the day by exchanging love notes and simple gifts such as flowers.

It is possible that the notion of birds chosing their mates in mid-February (far too early - Spring begins much later in the year) can be attributed to a misinterpretation of Chaucer's lines

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
(For this was Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.)

This poem was written in honour of the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. Their marriage treaty was signed on May 2, 1381. In the liturgical calendar, May 2 is the saint's day for Valentine of Genoa.
Wherever you are, take time today to tell the significant people in your life that you care.