The story of Valentine’s Day
It comes from the time of the Roman Empire, under the rule of Emperor Claudius the Second, also known as Claudius the Cruel. At that time, Rome was involved in many bloody wars, so Claudius was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that men did not want to leave their lovers or families. As a result, he forbade all marriages and engagements in Rome.
During this time a Christian priest named Valentine began to secretly marry couples despite the emperors orders. When Emperor Claudius discovered this disobedience, Valentine was sent to prison, where he ended up losing his life on February 14 in the year 270.
Valentine’s Day is also linked to the pagan festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15 by young Romans centuries before Christ. The celebration concerned all young people of marriageable age in the country. The tokens representing all the young girls were placed in a love urn and the young lads each drew a token and the couples paired off. During the Roman occupation of Britain, the idea was brought to this country and adopted by the ancient Britons. When people were converted to Christianity, the pagan and Christian festivals were merged as one; which then was celebrated on St. Valentine’s day, February 14.
Valentine card and gift
In Saxon England and after, on St. Valentine’s day for a boy customarily to give the girl of his choice a love token, usually a pair of gloves because the glove was a sign of authority since olden times. In Norwich, years ago, on St. Valentine’s eve packages containing all kinds of gifts were laid on doorsteps. They were anonymous and usually just with the message “a Good-morrow to you Valentine” and ring or knock on the door after depositing the package then disappear. Some parcels contained valuable presents while others were considered to be a kind of lovely joke, being wrapped in many layers of paper with a little notes of encouragement within: “Never despair”.
It was not until the 15thC that the first greeting card was produced because, before that time, parchment was scarce and the majority of people were illiterate. The forerunner of the paper Valentine was first seen in the 17th C. With the use of envelopes in 1840 the popularity of the Valentine card increased. In Victorian times, the Valentine card was often delicately made out of lace paper, velvet and satin ribbons, embossed with the best quality material. These cards often had secret panels in them, hiding secret messages to the girls concerned. Nowadays, this kind of card is still popular to be given, people use a add – note paper which is secretly in card, specially Pop up card.
In 1872 the Post Office began to allow parcels below 12 ounces in weight to be sent by letter post. This news led to the fact that Norwich alone two days before St. Valentine’s eve 150,000 letters containing small gifts were sent through the post. From that time, the custom of leaving presents on doorsteps decreased in importance.
Other parts of Britain also has ther customs. In Peterborugh, sweet plum buns called Valentine Buns. Uppingham, gingerbread was given to lovers. In Rutland, buns shaped like a weaver’s shuttle and called a Plum Shuttles’ were made for children. In the 17th C, silk stockings, jewelry and perfume were given to the ladies as expensive gifts.
As a tradition in Wales, wooden love spoons are carved and given as gifts. Hearts, keys and keyholes are favorite decorations on the spoons, meaning “You unlock my heart.”
Flowers are the most common gift given. Charles II of Sweden, in the 18th century, who introduced the idea of flowers symbolizing emotions, and the red rose was singled out for love. The number of roses has meanings too:
- 1 rose = love
- 12 (a dozen) = gratitude
- 25 = congratulation
- 50 = unconditional love
Today, red roses stand for passionate love, pink roses for friendship, white for purity, both red and white mean unity. People use symbol of rose for create gift, painting on card, making chocolate. Beside that, they have an ideas of mix all Valentine’s day pattern to a special kind of card – Pop up card. In this card. Inspite of the development of printed card, pop up card has its own mental value to everyone.