Valentine’s Day Superstitions and Customs
By Twinty Karat
Commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, Saint Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14. It celebrates love and affection between intimate companions. Valentine’s Day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.
Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is still going strong, at least in the United States. This custom originated long back in England and France in the middle ages. Valentine’s Day superstitions are still around, but generally are of minor importance, if any in this country. The month of February was said to be the month when the birds used to choose their mating partners or companions.
Later on, Valentine’s Day gained popularity as the perfect day for writing of love letters and exchanging love tokens with one another. Today valentine day has gained its popularity as the day for lovers and tokens of love. It is a strange fact that this day falls in the zodiac sign of Aquarius which is known for its lack in warmth and passions. This fact cannot be denied that the valentine day has its origin based entirely on superstitions. Regardless of zodiac sign Valentine’s Day superstitions have been passed down through the ages and still survive.
A Few Valentine’s Day Superstitions
Antique Valentine circa1909
There are numerous superstitions and customs relating to the Valentine’s Day all around the world. The literary sources of France and England are great proofs for this custom to be prevalent from very old times.
- In the medieval ages, young girls used to consume unusual foods so that they would see their would-be life partner in their dreams. It was generally believed that the type of bird a girl dreams of predicts her life partner.
- If the girl sees a sparrow, the future husband would be a poor man
- and if the girl sees an owl then she would remain a spinster throughout her life.
- Another Valentine’s Day superstition says that on seeing a blackbird in her dreams, a girl would marry a priest
- and on seeing a bluebird, she would marry a happy man.
- Seeing a crossbill in her dreams would lead her to marry an argumentative man.
Apart from dreams, there are a variety of things to be done on Valentine’s Day related to Valentine’s Day superstitions.
It is said that on Valentine’s Day,
- if an apple is cut into two pieces, the individual will have as many children as there are seeds in the apple.
- If someone is woken up with a kiss on this day, it is said to be lucky.
Some Valentine’s Day Facts
- The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C
- In Medieval times, girls ate unusual foods on St Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future husband.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week.
- Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box in the late 1800s.
- About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in US each year. Other than Christmas that’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year.
- As women do most of the shopping, women purchase about 85% of all valentines.
- Parents receive 1 of every 5 valentines.
- Even pets are not left out and about 3% of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
- Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
- California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the majority of roses sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.
- Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day Valentine’s Day period.
- Some 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men; only 27 percent are women.
- As you would expect, men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine’s Day.
- The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
- Among the earliest Valentine’s Day gifts were candies. The most common candles were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.
The phrase “To wear your heart on your sleeve” now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
More Valentine’s Day Superstitions
- Seeing a squirrel on Valentine’s Day is very unlucky because one will marry a fraud who will run after your wealth and money.
- On seeing a pair of doves on the Valentine’s Day indicates a prosperous and happy married life.
- Getting a glimpse of a goldfinch depicts that one is going to marry a rich person.
- If someone sees a robin on this day, it means that the person is going to marry someone who fights against crimes.
There is another interesting Valentine’s Day superstition and custom relating to the Valentine’s Day.
- It is said that if someone finds a single glove found lying on the road, the missing glove of the same pair will be with the future beloved of that person who has found the glove on the road.
- The age old customs of giving red roses or a key to someone whom you want to be your beloved is still prevalent today.
Valentine’s Day Symbols
Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, the figure of the winged Cupid, and doves. Since the 1800s handwritten valentines have been gradually replaced by mass-produced greeting cards.
The lucky symbols and signs of the Valentine’s Day are the hearts and keys signs. Another Valentine’s Day superstition says that hearts and keyholes carved out on spoons made of wood are meant to bring good luck in love if given as gifts to our loved ones.
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