Romance is high at Valentine and it’s more about loving and being loved. Love is all around with the special love symbols that signifies the importance of celebrating togetherness. Showing loved ones, the most they mean to say – with flowers, chocolates and heart shaped candies and balloons. Why, even writing a poetry and giving cards.
The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer wrote:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).
Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):
To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
If you rearrange the letters of the word rose you get Eros, the god of Love. The rose, which is undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world, speaks of love and has been the choice of lovers in every century.
Ribbons, Laces and Frills
Ribbons and frills have been associated with romance since the days of knighthood when a knight rode into battle with a ribbon or scarf given him by his lady fair. The dictionary states that the word “Lace” comes from a Latin word meaning to “snare” or “noose”. Hundred years ago, woman dropped her laced handkerchief in hopes that a man picked it up and gave it to her. Thus, attracting his attention to encourage romance. Chocolate boxes and valentine cards are hence decorated with lace.
Emotional feelings arise from the heart. A person feels love, hate, happiness, anger, jealousy or fear and it’s the chemistry that clicks such emotions. Love is connected with the heart and is a symbol of Valentine because it is ‘Love that’s makes the world go round’ or for some ‘Love is in the air’ – Love is an affair of the heart.
Cupid was one of the gods of mytholog, son of Venus. In Latin, the word Cupid means “desire.” Cupid is typically represented as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile. He possessed a bow with a quiver of arrows by which he transfixed the hearts of youths an and maidens.Cherubs are descendants of Cupid. They are depicted as lovable little winged creatures without arrows and quivers. Cherubs were typically not mischievous like Cupid. Venus sent cupid to Psyche, the beautiful daughter of a king.
A lady’s hands was a favorite decoration that depicted “femininity.” Its beauty was enhanced by adding a frilly cuff and a jeweled ring on the third finger. Clasped hands represent those of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and were symbols of the friendship between their countries of Germany and England. Years ago, when a man proposed marriage to a woman, he ‘asked for her hand’ – The hand became a symbol of marriage and love. So, followed the glove.
Turtle Doves and Love Birds
It was thought that birds chose their mate for the year on February 14. Doves and pigeons mate for life and therefore were used as a symbol of “fidelity.” Doves were the favourite birds of Venus and they hold same mates lifetime. They have loyalty, love and peace. Lovebirds are the colorful parrots with red bills found usually in Africa. They sit closely together in pairs and hence, called Love Birds
It is a symbol of endless love. A windled and interlaced loops with no beginning or end. Love knots are made with ribbon or fancy lace and even drawn on cards or piece of paper and passed on to the love with a message often written on it.
Puzzik-circa 1840. A puzzik is a quaint sort of homemade Valentine which was a sort of puzzle that the receiver had to solve. Not only did she have to decipher the message but also to figure how to refold the paper once it was opened. The order of the verses was usually numbered, and the recipient had to twist the folds to determine what was being said.
Daguerreotype-popular from 1840 to the Civil War. An old-time tintype was found in the center of a card surrounded by an ornamented wreath. Another type was a “Mirror Valentine” which had a small mirror placed in the center to reflect the happy face of the receiver.
Rebus. Although it had many forms, a rebus usually was a romantic verse written in ink with certain words omitted and illustrated with a picture. Meant to be a riddle, they were not always easy to decipher.
Chocolate gift boxes, cup cake with hearts, pink heart sunglasses, love stamps, valentine theme clothes for kids and adults, candies, books and stationaries and so many gifts mark the Valentine Day Gifts to the loved ones. Be it, parents, friends, lover or expressing love.