It is Valentines day again, and this year I have noticed, there doesn’t seem to be much of a fuss on everyone’s part, at least in my part of London.
I hardly saw a red display, many shops having opted for pink!
So I thought to myself, why does it matter anyway, I mean everybody today says they don’t bother with the day because true love happens everyday! Excuse? Maybe. But I think that it is important to have Valentine’s day because, well there is a reason some things are cliches and others aren’t!
So anyway I went digging and found some rather interesting facts about this day associated with love.
According to English tradition, birds choose their mates on Valentine’s Day … I too wondered how this was discovered!
After that little piece of information, I thought to myself, there must be plenty more interesting tidbits about Valentines and I wasn’t wrong. In earlier times girls in the United Kingdom forecast their future on Valentine’s eve by pinning five bay leaves to their pillows one at each corner and one in the middle … that must have made for uncomfortable sleep … they then ate a specially prepared hard boiled egg, this egg had no yolk, the yolk was removed and replaced with salt, and they believed after they did this they would dream of their future husband. Life was so simple back then, there was none of the hunting that is going on right what with all the busy schedules and hard work we do, I am beginning to think people don’t even dream anymore!
Anyway I also found that the girls would write the names of lovers, these were sometimes rolled into balls of wet clay and soaked in a bowl of water, the paper that floated to the surface first, held the name of the husband to be!
But it is not the Brits alone that have interesting Valentine’s day quirks from the past. In Denmark young people exchanged pressed snow drops … I’d really like to see one of these … and original poems. I am not sure though if they still do the same today, but that is a sweet thing to do.
Of all the things that I read, the Japanese experience was most interesting. You see In Japan they have what they call the “Consolation candies”. What happens is Japanese girls give special candies to boys in their classes who have no sweetheart to send them a gift … isn’t that sweet? Still in Japan, there is “Chocolate kisses”, this is their very own version, the candy buyers are all women, because in Japan it is the women who give the chocolates, imagine that.
Anyway, I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day regardless of what you did! Shame commercialization has turned it into a difficult day to celebrate.