February 14th is right around the corner, and you know what that means. That’s right, we are half way through February already! Oh, yeah, and it’s Valentine’s Day.
Now, there are two camps when it comes to Valentine’s Day. There are those that think that the idea of Valentine’s Day was born in a conference room by the heads of Sees Candy, Hallmark and FTD Flowers. And then there are those that think a cute, little, chubby cherub named Cupid is shooting tiny golden arrows at everyone. And then there are those in the middle whose belief is that if you love someone enough to consider them your “Valentine”, then there shouldn’t be one single day in the middle of February to show that person how much you care about them… that should be every day of the year.
What do you think?
Below are the top 10 things that you may or may not know about Valentine’s Day.
Let’s start with number 10…
# 10… Origins are tied to a Bloody Pagan Festival. Some say that Valentine’s Day originated as a Christian effort to stop a pagan fertility festival dating back as far as 600 B.C. Close your eyes if you don’t like gory details… during the festival, Roman Priests would sacrifice goats and then use their bodies to slap woman as a fertility blessing! According to the legend, women would then put their name in an urn to be selected and paired with a mate for one year.
I know… kind of a gross start… it gets better.
# 9… Letters Addressed to ‘Juliet’. Did you know that 1000’s of romantics sent letters to Verona, Italy, addressed to “Juliet”, of Romeo and Juliet fame. The Shakespearian tale took place there so that is only fitting. There is a group of volunteers from the Juliet Club that actually answer each of the letters received and awards the “Cara Giulietta” (translated, Dear Juliet) prize to the one who writes the most touching letter.
# 8… Box of Chocolates. The modern day tradition of giving a box of candy was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, of the Cadbury chocolate family. They had just established a new process for creating more variety of chocolates and seized the opportunity to sell them as part of the Holiday. I’m not sure how it took 2500 years to go from bloody goat hides to chocolate, but I’m glad it finally did!
# 7… First Valentine was written from a Prison. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the most romantic place, prison is not the first place I think of. Charles, the Duke of Orleans, was captured and imprisoned for more than 20 years. While in prison he’d write a love letter to his wife that is considered to be the first valentine sent.
# 6… ‘Vinegar Valentines’ Discouraged Suitors. Back in the Victoria Era, if you didn’t want the attention of a certain someone, you would reject these unwanted admirers by sending “Vinegar Valentines”. Instead of love and affection, they were often filled with insults and were designed to affect the recipient. Perhaps something like “Roses are red, Violets are blue. I’d love to spend Valentine’s Day, just not with you!”
# 5… ‘Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve’. This expression is possibly linked to the act of picking a Valentine. Men would draw the names of women they planned to be with in the upcoming year and would then wear that name on their sleeve to show their intention during the celebrations.
# 4… ‘Sweethearts’ Candies Started Out as Lozenges. A Pharmacist and inventor created a machine that could quickly, and more efficiently, create throat lozenges in bulk. He later converted the machine so that it could make candy instead. In 1866, the idea was born to print messages on the candy and in 1901 the became heart shaped and that’s how the conversation sweethearts that we know today came to be. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure the recipe changed all that much… have you tasted those things!
# 3… Cupid began as a Greek God. When you think of Cupid, you picture a chubby baby with wings carrying a bow and arrow, right? Of course… and he’s been associated with Valentine’s Day for centuries. However, before he was renamed Cupid, he was known as Eros, the God of Love… still fitting. Eros is the son of Aphrodite and did you know that he actually had two sets of arrows; one for love and one for hate. He used them to toy with the emotions of his targets. The more the stories were told of his mischievous ways, the more his image transformed into the childlike image we have of him today.
# 2… How ‘X’ came to mean ‘Kiss’. Ever wonder how “Hugs and Kisses” came to be abbreviated with X’s and O’s? Well, around the middle ages, the X symbol was used to sign off on documents and the writer would often kiss the mark as a sign of their oath. As the gesture grew more popular to certify books and letters and other documents, they became known as “Sealed with a Kiss”… hence the expression and the tie between an X and a Kiss.
And the number one thing that you may or may not know about Valentine’s Day…
(drum roll, please)
# 1… We really do love our clients. In lieu of chocolate or flowers, our gift to you is our passion and our commitment to helping you to get the best deal possible on the sale or purchase of your home. Now, if you want to get us some chocolates in return, we certainly aren’t going to love you any less.
There you have it. We hoped you learned something. And as always, feel free to reach out to any one of us here at Elation Real Estate. You’ll know where to find us… no compass needed!
All the best,
written by The Chermanator, blog master