Valentine's Day Customs and Superstitions about Love

Here are a few fun facts and fables about love and marriage
gathered from around the world!
Valentine's Fun Superstitions

1. On Valentine's Day, the first guy's name you read in the
paper or hear on the TV or radio will be the name of the man
you will marry.

2. If you see a squirrel on Valentine's Day, you will marry a
cheapskate who will hoard all your money.

3. If you see a goldfinch on Valentine's Day, you will marry a
millionaire.
4. If you see a flock of doves on Valentine's Day, you will have
a happy, peaceful marriage.
5. If you find a glove on the road on Valentine's Day, your
future beloved will have the other missing glove.

6. If you see a robin on Valentine's Day, you will marry a crime
fighter.

7. If you see a bat today, you will marry a baseball player.

Where Did Valentine's Day Come From?

The custom of sending special messages and gifts to the ones we
love began in the year 270 A. D. The Roman Emperor Claudius found
he was having problems recruiting men to serve in his armies. The
men wanted to stay home with their wives and children. Angry that
helps support his men were more loyal to their wives than to himself, Claudius
decided to outlaw marriage!

Couples who were in love searched for someone who would help them
get married, even in secret. A priest named Valentine performed
wedding ceremonies for these desperate young lovers. When the
emperor found out, he had Valentine arrested and ordered his
execution on February 14, the day of the Roman festival of love.
Valentine's jailer had a daughter, Augustine. She was so kind to
Valentine during his imprisonment, that Valentine sent a note with
a grateful "thank you" message for all that she had done.

So, the custom of sending Valentines had begun. Valentine, the
priest, died because he believed in love. Now he is remembered as
St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. Today, Valentine's Day
is a day we all say "thank you" for kindness done and for the gift
of love and caring.

Where did Cupid come from?

Cupid, the chubby cherub with a bow and arrow, dates all the way
back to the myths of ancient Greece. In those days he was known as
Eros. He was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Much of
Greek culture was later adopted by the Romans. They called the
goddess of love Venus and her son, Cupid. In Latin, the language
of ancient Rome, the word cupido means desire.

As a messenger of his mother, the goddess of love, Cupid would
shoot his arrows, tipped with gold. Those struck by the arrows
would fall in love.

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The Language of Flowers

According to old traditions, sending different kinds of flowers
sends a secret message to the one you love. Here are a few of
these secret flower messages:

* Red roses mean "I love you"!
* Yellow roses mean "I love you, but I don't know if you love
me."
* White roses mean "Our love is pure."
* Four leaf clovers are a wish for good luck.
* Orange blossoms represent everlasting love.

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Dating 'Round the World

In different countries, boys and girls have lots of ways
to meet each other.

o Over the last forty years or so, teen-agers in Japan
usually concentrated on their studies. Today, large
group activities are popular while one-on-one dates
often wait until college years.

o In Iran, religious customs and laws forbid dating. Girls
and boys are introduced by their families. Sometimes
even the actual wedding is completely arranged by the
parents.

o In many Spanish speaking countries, young girls don't go
out with boys until after their "quincinera"--a special
party honoring their fifteenth birthday.

o The wealthier families of parts of England and the
United States have a Debutant Ball for their older
teen-aged daughters. This is an official "coming out"
party rather like the Spanish quincinera. Of course,
less formal dating often happens before a girl becomes a
"deb."

o Coffee houses and dance clubs are popular places to go
for a date in modern Russia.

o In the United States "going Dutch" on a date means each
person pays for her or himself.

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Why Is Valentine's Day on February 14th?

Christian heroes, called saints, are often honored on the
anniversary of the day they died (since Christians believe
that's the day a person can be "born" into heaven). A famous
bishop named Valentine died on February 14th. So it became
the feast of St. Valentine.

The preachers of the early Christian church tried to use
traditions people already had when they taught them about
Christian beliefs. On February 15th, Romans celebrated the
feast of Lupercalia. On that day, young women would put their
names into a jar. The young men would each draw a name to see
who would be their partner for the festivities of the day.

This custom was continued by some people even when they
became Christians. So the church connected it with
celebrations for St. Valentine which happened about the same
time (the 14th). The kindness that St. Valentine showed in
his life was supposed to be an example of the kindness people
should show to their "valentine" whose name was drawn from a
jar.

The Valentine Heart

Chocolate hearts, lace hearts, paper hearts of red... hearts
in supermarket ads, heart-shaped cookies, even heart-covered
silk boxer shorts!

On Valentine's Day, everywhere you look you see hearts. --
But why?

In early times, the liver was the part of the body that
symbolized love. But hearts have long been connected with
feelings of love. After all, you can feel your heart beating
faster when you're excited by seeing someone you love. That's
probably how it all got started.

But scientists think that emotions actually begins in your
brain. The part of it called the thalamus shows the most
activity in tests measuring an emotionally excited person.

But a piece of brain on a Valentine's card probably wouldn't
thrill too many people. Come to think of it, even a [Image]
picture of a REAL heart, with blood vessels and
everything, isn't all that romantic! Maybe we should just be
glad we have the traditions that we have!

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The Colors of Love

Valentines are usually printed with lots of red, pink, and
white. Are these the colors of love? Check out these facts!

o Cupid's arrows aren't pink or red... they're invisible!
o Red, the color of blood, is the color of devotion and
loyalty.
o White is the color of purity... but in some Eastern
countries, it is the color used for mourning the dead.
o Pink was usually considered a color for boys before the
1920's!
o In Asia and the Middle east, red and orange are joyful,
festival colors.
o Blue is considered a color of trust and reliability --
like in "true blue." -- Maybe that's why policemen and
baseball umpires often wear blue uniforms!
o Purple was long considered a royal color. That's because
purple dyes were very hard to make and only the rich
could afford clothing dyed purple.
o Green is a color of hope, since the returning of green
plants in the spring shows the world coming to life
after winter.
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Good Luck for a Bride

An old saying suggests a bride wear to her wedding,

Something old and something new
Something borrowed and something blue

  • The old item is often something passed down in the
    family from generation to generation - a sign of respect
    to those relatives.
  • The new item stands for the new life the wife and
    husband are starting together.
  • The bride borrows something, usually from a happily
    married friend or older woman. It shows she wants to
    share in that happiness.
  • Blue has long been thought of as a color that stands for
    faithfulness. The bride wears it to show that she and
    her husband want to be always faithful in their love.

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