Celebrating Valentines Day

Of all the holidays, there are two that I take a less than cynical approach to…Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my wife and I don’t even exchange gifts anymore for Christmas. We barely acknowledge our anniversary, sometimes forgetting until the end of the day. But, I guess as a romash author, it’s kind of a requirement that I still wish to recognize Valentines Day. Although, this year my wife asked if I wanted the traditional Christopher Elbow chocolates that she has been ordering for me since the very first year we got together. I declined because I am still working on shedding those vacation pounds. Believe me it is a sacrifice, because the picture below is what I’m missing!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about the history of Valentine’s day or shared interesting facts about this holiday, but if I have…simply ignore this blog. I suffer from CRS (can’t remember shit), so you’re going to get this information again even if I have done a previous blog sharing those same interesting facts. So…without further ado…here’s what I found.

  • Valentines day began as a feast to celebrate one St. Valentine and maybe two who died on February 14th. Both Decapitated. The legends on these two are decidedly more romantic, with stories that were probably not true, such as: the saint performing marriages for young lovers in secret or the saint as a prisoner falling in love and sending a note (a Valentine) while imprisoned. The reality was that the third century in Rome was not a good time to be a Christian.
  • Fast forward a couple of hundred years and you come across a theory that the origin might come from a Pagan celebration called Lupercalia. Certainly not appealing to me…but it entailed a rural masculine cult sacrificing goats and dogs that turned into an urban carnival. The festival had half-naked men wearing thongs from the skins of the goats streaking through the streets (yup, hard no). I knew there was a reason I avoid thongs at all costs besides the fact that I view them as butt floss. Pregnant women believed the men would bring them healthy babies via this ritual. Thank goodness that Pope Gelasius stopped the madness in 496 A.D.
  • Some believe that the love-themed holiday began in the era of Chaucer when he declared February, the feast of St. Valentinus, after writing this in his “Parlement of Foules”: “For this was on seynt Volantynys day. Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” Apparently, English birds paired off to produce eggs in February and nobility started sending love notes during the bird mating season. Soon this caught on with English audiences. In fact, Shakespeare’s lovestruck Ophelia referred to herself as Hamlet’s Valentine. This caught on quickly and Englishmen and women began using February 14th as an excuse to write poems and such to their love crushes.
  • When the industrial revolution came along, the result was mass-produced illustrated cards and cheesy poetry. Soon after, Cadbury, Hershey’s, and other chocolate manufacturers began marketing sweets for Valentine’s Day. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. She is known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” with her elaborate creations designed with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures.
  • Valentines Day is the second largest card-sending holiday.
  • Where did Cupid come from? Most believe that the Roman God Cupid originated in Greek mythology from Eros, the God of love. Eros, a handsome cad messed with the emotions of Gods and men, using golden arrows to instigate love and leaden ones to cause the opposite reaction.

Now…I’ve developed my own story on the origins of Valentines Day that I wrote quite early in my writing career (2nd story I ever wrote). That short story can be found for free on the Affinity website. Here is a link: The True Story of Valentines Day. And…because I do love this holiday, my latest book will be on SALE for $1.99 for seven days starting today! Check out the latest MyLesfic newsletter where Inspiration Takes a Vacation and other great books are on sale in honor of this great holiday! Oh…and don’t forget to check out my other books…links are below as usual.

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Free on Kindle Unlimited – For Sale $1.99 for 7 days (CHEAPER THAN A FANCY STARBUCKS COFFEE)

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