Let’s show the love today and remember not only those nearest and dearest but also that this is the Year of Reading Women. Grab a novel from your favorite female author.
Although, historians are not positive on the exact origins of Valentine’s Day, the Catholic church did honor the martyrdom of St. Valentine. He was jailed for performing marriages in spite of a ban made by Claudius, the Roman Emperor. Two men called Valentine were executed on 14th February in different years of 3rd century A.D.
There is also evidence that in Roman times, men would literally hit on women during the feast of Lupercalia, celebrated from 13th to 15th February. A goat or dog would be sacrificed and then the hides were used to whip the women. The women believed this practice would make them fertile. At the same time young men would draw names of women out of a jar and couple with them for the duration of the festival, some would last longer depending on the love match. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius, combined St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia in an attempt to expel the pagan ritual. To add more confusion the Norman’s celebrated Galatin’s Day. The name Galatin means ‘lover of women’ and thus was muddled into the ‘loving day’ too.
William Shakespeare and Chaucer further romanticized the festival in their writing. Hand-made paper cards became love tokens – du-jour – in the Middle Ages and so began the multi-million industry for cards, flowers and chocolates.
For good measure – Sonnet 18:
Today’s prompt should, of course, have a love theme.
Choose one line from Sonnet 18 and create your own love poem from it. Feel free to share.