Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Story of Valentines day cards

the symbols of vallentine
Photographer Julien Girard produced this image by drawing a heart in the air with a small torch.

The camera was put on a tripod and left at a 25 second exposure.

Behind the heart shape the milky way can be seen and the outline of the heart appears to surround the galaxy.

The heart is the symbol of love and strength and features along with cupids and arrows as the prominent symbols of Valentines day.

The Symbols of Valentine

are supposedly related to St Valentine who was said to have performed secret Christian weddings for Roman soldiers about 270 AD.

The Emperor  Claudius II supposedly banned soldiers from marrying, believing married men made poor soldiers.

the stroy of valentines cards
Saint Valentine prepared the soldiers paper parchment hearts to remind the soldiers of God's love.

Valentine was captured and interrogated by Claudis 11 who so impressed with the character of Valentine that he tried to convert him to Roman paganism and so save his life.

Valentine responded by trying to convert  Claudius to Christianity instead so he was executed.

This story however wasn't picked up until the mid 1600,s in Europe and so is generally accepted as legend.

There are no real connections to valentines Day from Ancient Roman times.  

A celebration to Lupercalia, between February 13–15, was a rite connected to fertility in Rome but a direct connection to the name or date are not recorded.

The first noted written connection to the day was from Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote.

The first printed words about Valentine were:

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."

Birds mating would make the date later than February 14th!

Victorian Valentines

The Young Man's Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own was produced in 1797.

The reduction in postal rates meant cards of verses could be sent anonymously  for the first time exciting the staid Victorian ardour.

the victorian valentine card

By the 19th Century Paper Valentines were being mass produced in factories using reall ribbons and lace.

It estimated that 25 million Valentines cards are now being sent each year and from the early 19th Century card manufacture was to increase into all manner of gifts.

These typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box.

In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving jewellery.

The Story of Valentines Day Cards

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