With many holidays, the celebrated day began as one thing and evolved into something different. Valentine's Day comes on the feast day of two different Christian martyrs named Valentine. But our customs for this day has nothing to do with their lives. It seems to reach back to an ancient Roman festival called Lupericalia. Celebrated on the 15th, the festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature.
Valentine's Day carries a variety of traditions throughout the world.
In United States and Canada, we celebrate through gifts: candy, cards, flowers, parties, etc.
In Sicily, some young women wake before sunrise and stand by a window, waiting for a man to pass by. It is believed he will become her husband within the year.
Some believe that birds choose their mates on February 14th.
As we celebrate already established relationships, most customs find this day to be a celebration of new love, a special day to choose a mate.
Quite a few used random methods of choosing that one person to share love and life with. To write boyfriends' names upon a piece of paper, wrap it in clay, and drop it into water was one method. The true valentine's name would float to the top first. Pinning bay leaves to a pillow to bring about a dream of the girl's future husband is another.
I hope you enjoyed these few tidbits of the Valentine's Day holiday.
In celebration of the holiday, I'd like to take a look at a few 'fictional' couples.
- Ghost - Sam and Molly hang onto love even through death.
- Titanic - Jack and Rose overcome social boundaries with their love.
- The Notebook - Noah and Allie have a love stretched over time and separation.
- Dirty Dancing - Johnny and Baby learn to step outside of the square through their love.
- Ghost Whisperer - Melinda and Jim take unconditional love to a new level.
- Sex and the City - Carrie and Mr. Big prove some love can survive hardships and differences.
- Friends - Ross and Rachel show how friendship is such an important part of a relationship.