Friday, February 14, 2014

Misty Past of Valentine's Day

       Today is a fun day to celebrate and pass on our greetings to others. We celebrate with cards and lots of chocolate. In some areas gifts are exchanged.

     So where does this tradition come from? It's been a long and winding trail. The original  Saint Valentine comes from the third century and he died on Feb. 14. In the middle ages St. Valentine was associated with courtly love. Complicating things were other St. Valentines and similar names. Over the many years numerous stories emerged around Valentines

     Apparently the Catholic Church does not recognize St. Valentine and does not have any religious celebration related to St. Valentine. ( Now I found some material which would appear to contradict that there is no celebration in the Catholic Church.) Some other churches do have reference to St. Valentine and some observance in their routine. 

    Modern Valentine's traditions began in the 18 th century and have steadily changed. Today Valentine's Day has turned into a very large commercial venture. A fantastic amount of chocolate is sold as well as greeting cards.

    So we've come to a place where the day is marked by fun, enjoyment and numerous wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day. 

     Since I have a brother who has a birthday today, I have a bigger stake in the day. My brother was born in a small country hospital. Very few babies  were born there during a year. A baby born Feb. 14 was a big occasion. The nurses wanted my Mom to name my brother Valentino. Mom didn't follow their suggestion and I imagine my brother is quite happy that she didn't follow their advice.

    So I wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day!