Valentine’s Day has evolved over time

I often have wondered how two people fall in love and continue to build on that love through their lifetimes.
I remember, in my courting days, heading to the florist on Valentine’s Day to pick up a bouquet of roses and stopping by the drug store for a box of chocolates–all to show my now wife how much I cared for her.
Either of us would prepare a fanciful meal for the evening to please the other.
Do flowers and chocolates, along with a special meal, make the difference? I suspect just showing appreciation to that significant person in your life does.
Valentine’s Day is coming up in one week. It used to be that it was tradition for a man to offer his lady a bouquet of flowers, a loving card, chocolates, or even a romantic evening.
But life is changing. Today a man is as likely to receive a card as give one. He even may be the recipient of a bouquet of flowers, and a candlelight dinner either at home or in a restaurant could be in the offering.
The romantic day dates as far back as the fifth century and has its beginnings in the Roman holiday of Lupercalia. It was a raucous, naked drunken festival where a dog and a goat were sacrificed and the skins of the animals were used to whip women.
It is suggested that women actually would line up, believing the whipping would make them fertile.
Often through a lottery, the men and women were coupled for the duration of the festival or longer should all of the stars have aligned.
Two men both named Valentine were executed for marrying on Feb. 14 in the third century AD. The emperor Claudius II forbade men from marrying if they were soldiers.
It was in the fifth century that Pope Gelasius muddled life by adopting the Lupercalia festival into the church and renaming it St. Valentine’s Day in recognition of the two martyred soldiers.
Norman’s celebrated a similar festival in mid-February, calling it Galatin’s Day.
In England and Normandy, single young women would put their names on a ribbon into an urn and young men would pull the ribbon out and wear it on their sleeve. It committed them to look after the young woman for a full year.
It is where the saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve” came from.
Chaucer, Shakespeare, and other poets penned written love notes and put romance into their plays. Valentine’s Day keeps evolving.
It is estimated that six million women around the world will say “Yes” to a marriage proposal on that day. More than one billion cards will be exchanged. As well, mountains of chocolates will be distributed between lovers and over 220 million red roses will be offered as a commitment to love.
Valentine’s Day has become the second-biggest gift-giving day of the year.

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