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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

All About Valentine's Day... Will You Be Ours...

St. Valentine's Day is an observance that has been celebrated since the fourth century, when Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. These martyrs are remembered by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day. They were killed because Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine realized that this decree was wrong, and despite being ordered to be put to death by Claudius, he continued secretly to perform marriages for young lovers. When this was discovered by Claudius, he ordered that Valentine be put to death but spared his life because of his love for young people.

According to some historians however, Valentine's Day commemorates the death of St. Valentine on February 14, but other sources believe that the holiday actually has its origins in a Pagan fertility festival called "Lupercalia," which was celebrated on February 15 in ancient Rome. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine's Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” writing, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

In modern times, its become more commercialised, with cards, chocolates and flowers. The first Valentine's cards were sent in the 18th century. Initially these were handmade efforts, as pre-made cards were not yet available. Lovers would decorate paper with romantic symbols including flowers and love knots, often including puzzles and lines of poetry. These days, people are still writing their own messages on cards and sending them to each other as a gesture of love, but there are also many different kinds of cards available in shops and online. The red rose has long been a symbol of love and romance. In the Middle Ages, for instance, healers believed that the colour indicated the presence of blood in the body. The rose was sacred to goddesses including Isis of Egypt, who was often depicted holding a red rose in her left hand. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified their goddesses of love as Aphrodite (pictured here), Venus and Hera, who all had associations with red roses as well. Twelve roses are the traditional way to show your love for someone, and one of their many meanings is to show that you are thinking of them 12 months a year, or 12 different ways to say I love you. Their beauty and simplicity speak volumes about the emotions you feel undying love.

Chocolates have a long history as an established gift for Valentine's Day, in fact since the 1860s. Chocolate is considered a natural aphrodisiac food since the time of Aztecs. It is said to contain substances that inflame desire and make the beloved one more open to romance. In olden days, this resulted in European royalty giving their lovers chocolates mixed with amber to stimulate their love. Whether you are spending the day alone or with your loved one, don't forget to tune in for our All Loved Up on Chesil Radio from 10am til 4pm ...

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