Saint Valentine

Valentine's Day is a very polarizing holiday.  Some of us adore the flowers, the hearts, the candy and the celebration of all of the lovey dovey stuff.  But, conversely, others just hate those little conversation hearts and forced date nights.

I am in the former camp (um, hello, PINK Frenchie cherishes any holiday devoted to her favorite hue!).  I've always loved Valentine's Day, even when I wasn't in love.  Whereas I generally consider myself a pessimist or a realist, Valentine's day brings out my rose-colored glasses. 

As each February 14 rolls around, I so enjoy celebrating love.  Of course, V-day has been over-commercialized like so many other modern fêtes; but, if you embrace the true meaning behind the fourteenth, you'll surely find your inner romantic. 

Containing elements of both ancient Roman and early Christian culture, Valentine's Day celebrates a 3rd-century priest who performed secret marriages at a time when the Roman empire had outlawed the ceremonies to produce a more military-minded populace (i.e. no wife at home meant no wimpy soldiers defending Rome).  Other legends claim that the Roman emperor jailed Valentine who then fell in love himself and penned letters to his darling "from your Valentine."  The myths about Valentine are varied, but one thing seems consistent: this guy loved love.

Though early Christians used mid-February to mark the martyrdom of ole' St. Val,  the holiday didn't take on its modern form until the seventeenth century in Britain. At that time, handwritten notes and small tokens of affection were exchanged among friends and loved ones.

There you have it: the real history of Valentine's Day, sans cupids, carnations and caramels.  Let's all try to return to a simpler February 14 this year.  Use the day to tell all your favorite people exactly what they mean.  Send a letter instead of a text or an e-mail.  Use your nicest stationary and your fanciest cursive script to share all the reasons why your life is better because of that sweet soul. 

To mark this week before Valentine's Day, I am going to offer up a few of my favorite pink goodies to get us in the mood for love on Monday.  Be sure to check back often for all things pink, all week.

Image borrowed from here.


  1. Pink Frenchie,
    As an art historian, can you tell us why cupids/cherubs are associated with Valentine's?

  2. Cupid was often shown alongside the Greek/Roman goddess of love, Aphrodite/Venus. According to myth, cupid was Venus' son and therefore often shown in art as a chubby, winged bringer of love. Also, in Latin, "cupid" means desire.

  3. frenchie! it's me, claracupcake reincarnated.



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