A belated happy St. Valentine’s Day to all! I’ve been caught with a nasty bought of illness in the last week, so I wasn’t well enough to post this in a timely fashion, but better late than never. We celebrated St. Valentine’s day this year with a lovely breakfast, complete with chocolate chip pancakes (of course) and tea! Kevin brought me the lovely flowers and the sweet card and we all enjoyed the sunshine and the good food.
I’ve always had a weaker connection to the celebration of Valentine’s day, thinking of it as a “Hallmark” holiday to break up the February dreariness. However, I’ve been doing some reading and have been trying to embrace the themes of love and renewal this holiday inspires. I was reading this article about the history of St. Valentine’s day and discovered it was originally celebrated as the Roman holiday Lupercalia, the pagan celebration of fertility and renewal. During the Roman era one of the St. Valentines – there were several martyrs named Valentine – used to perform marriages in secret, in defiance of Roman law, garnering an early link between St. Valentine and celebrations of love. After the Christianization of Rome, partially because of his ties to love and marriage, St. Valentine’s day replaced Lupercalia as the fertility celebration in mid February. As an additional seasonal connection, St. Valentine’s day was thought to be the start of the mating season for birds (I’ve certainly noticed confirming data in the garden). According to this article, Valentine’s Day as we know it wasn’t widely celebrated until the 17th century. Still, the history and tradition of celebrating love, in its many forms, has been linked with this time of year since 270 A.D.
With all of this history in mind, I have been contemplating the themes love and renewal as we journey through the middle of February and look ahead to March. Though of course love should be a year-long endeavor, during this time of transition and these last bitter months of winter, it seems more important to express appreciation for loved ones each day.
A last little note of joy: the snowdrops are blooming!
Sending snowdrops and good wishes to all.
History.com Staff. “History of Valentine’s Day.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day