Valentines Day Ideas
The Legend of St. Valentine – ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts.
The history of Saint Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. All that we really know is that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. According to some sources, the early tradition of Valentine’s Day was that it was the date that birds began to choose their mates. Only later did the romance extend to the human population. However, this – like much that is written – is pure speculation.
The first reference in print to Valentine’s Day is found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Parlement of Foules (The Parliament of Fowls) circa 1381:
For this was on Seynt Volantynys day, Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
For this was Saint Valentine’s day, when every bird of every kind comes to this place to choose his mate.
How the date of 14th February was selected isn’t known. It may relate to the approximate date of the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which Chaucer’s poem was written to honour. The couple were both 14 at the time. The betrothal of young lovers sounds promising as a romantic story but the marriage was purely a political contract between Anne’s brother, King Wenceslas IV of Bohemia and the English government.