Holiday for hearts defined

Years ago, people held many beliefs in connection with Valentine’s Day. One of the oldest beliefs said that birds choose their mates on February 14. An old English superstition warned that it was bad luck to bring snow drops into the house before Valentine’s Day if unmarried girls in the home hoped to be married before the end of the year.

Most Valentine’s Day customs were concemed wilh romance or the choice of a mate. Single girls had many ways of learning the identity of their future husbands. Sometimes a girl wrote her boyfriend’s names on bits of paper and rolled each name in a little piece of clay. She then dropped the clay into the water. The first scrap of paper to rise to the top was supposed to contain the name of her true valentine.

Some unmarried girls pinned five bay leaves to their pillows on the eve of Valentine’s Day. They pinned one leaf to the center of the pillow and one to each corner, and believed they would see their future husbands in their dreams if the charm worked.

In Derbyshire, England, young women circled the church 12 times at midnight and repeated the words, “I sow hempseed, hempseed I sow, he that loves me best, come after me now.” After that, their true valentine was supposed to appear. Some young ladies rose early on February 14, looked through their keyholes, and hoped to see two objects. If a girl saw only one object in her first peep through the keyhole, she supposedly had little chance of being married that year.

In some places, an unmarried girl would strike her forehead with a folded rose petal. If the petal cracked, the girl knew that her valentine loved her.

In the United SUtes, Valentine’s Day became popular in the 1800’s at the time of the Civil War. A writer in a magazine of 1863 wrote, “Indeed, with the exception of Christmas, there is no festival throughout the world which is invested with half the interest belonging to this cherished anniversary.”

Also. Does anyone know why they celebrate V-Day in India at all? Did Hallmark manage to sink its marketing dollars into them too?

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