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From History St. Valentine`s Day as a lovers` festival dates at least from the 14th century. Generations of young (and not very young) people have regarded St. Valentine as the friend and patron of those who are in love. However, St. Valentine is rather a mysterious figure. In Ancient Rome there were two martyrs of that name. One of them was a priest who perished in 269 AD, the other was a bishop who was executed in 273 AD. It is said that before the execution he sent a note of friendship to his jailer`s blind daughter and signed it “Your Valentine”. It is not clear, unfortunately, which of the two is really the lovers` saint. The few known facts of their lives are so interwoven with undocumented traditions that is impossible to separate fact from legend.
St. Valentine`s Day is often associated with birds. People once believed that birds began to choose their mates on February 14th. Chaucer refers to it, as well as Shakespeare. Probably the keeping of St. Valentine`s Day as a day for people in love grew out of this belief. The custom of choosing a Valentine`s Day sweetheart may go back to the Lupercalia, a fertility festival of ancient Rome, which was held in the middle of February. Roman girls decorated love messages and put them in a large box. Unmarried young men drew the names from the box and in this way chose their partners for the festival. The drawing of the names of young women from a box on St. Valentine`s Day continued for centuries in many countries. This custom was also popular in England. A 17th- century French writer described how he visited an English house on February 14th and how the guests drew lots for partners by writing down names on pieces of paper.
There are a lot of traditions connected with St. Valentine`s Day. Most of them have died. Some of them have survived. Today Valentine`s Day remains, as ever, a day to express love and its main meaning is a sentimental one. People of all ages send valentines, serious and comic – to their own true love, but also to family members and friends. Valentine cards that we know today first appeared in the 18th century. Sweethearts used to spend hours making their own valentines. Lace, satin, ribbon, coloured paper, wild flowers, moss, feather and shells, all were used to make them look more “attractive”. The commercial card appeared in the 19th century. It was brightly coloured and decorated, and later on even perfumed. It contained a ready-made sentiment to suit all tastes. Shops began selling paper hearts, bows and arrows, cupids, roses, etc. Of course it is especially young people and children who look forward to St. Valentine`s Day, hoping to receive as many cards as possible. The greatest fun is to guess who has sent them. Customs and Traditions
Traditional valentine cards are in rhymes and sentimental in nature. In old times sweethearts composed their sentimental valentines themselves. It was not an easy thing to write a serious message avoiding commonplace variations of “mine” and “ fine” and “Valentine”. In the last century special books appeared (for example, St. Valentine`s Sentimental Writer) to help people in love write their valentines. Messages can be humorous (they are usually in prose) : Dear Betty, First I love my mother and father. Then I love my grandparents, Then I love my cat Tim and my canary Yellowbird. Then I love my records and hi-fi set and after that I love you. Jack VALENTINE RHYMES & MESSAGES
Valentine gifts February 14th is the day to send little gifts to those you love. Flowers and sweets are favourite presents. As the day approaches, shops are filled with red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates; the florists sell thousands of red roses – a symbol of love.
CELEBRATION Valentine`s Day is not a public holiday. Banks & offices do not close, but it is a happy little festival, especially for children and young people. It is also the day to have romantic dinners a` deux. Dancers & parties, sponsored privately or by organizations & clubs, often takes place on this day. Costume balls are still held in some places but they are not so elaborate as they used to be. February 14th is a favoutite day for parties, especially by young people. The hosts often trim the hall with red & white paper & hearts. Hearts, cupids, bows & arrows appear on dinner tables as well. Sandwiches & cakes are often cut in the shape of hearts. Sometimes a King & Queen of Hearts are chosen for the evening of the dance. Fortune-telling are sometimes played at such parties.
FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES It is not an easy thing to compose a valentine. Can you think of your own version of the old rhyme? Roses are red, Violets are blue ………………… …………………
In this wordsearch 12 words are hidden. The words can go across from right to left, down or in this direction A R R O W P O A V T C R E D S E R A L O V E R O R H S N D C U P I D E E G E N I T N E L A V I R F M E S S A G E T S O M V E L U P E A W V M F L E L I S V B S T R O E B E T O C Y R V A L E N E J W A E
HERE ARE 6 PROVERBS ABOUT LOVE. A KEY WORD IN EACH PROVERB IS MISSING. CAN YOU FIND IT? Love is ___________ . a) deaf b) blind c) numb Love is the __________ of love. a) mother b) father c) daughter All is fair in love and _________ . a) friendship b) marriage c) war Love and ________ are hard to hide. a) hatred b) poverty c) money Love me, love my _______ . a) face b) faults c) dog Love is never without __________ . a) jealousy b) tears c) quarrels
Sayings and Aphorisms about Love & Marriage Love cannot be forced. Love is neither bought nor sold. No herb will cure love. And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods make heaven drowsy with the harmony. Out of sight, out of mind. But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies they themselves enjoy. Faults are thick where love is thin. W. Shakespeare It`s curious how, when you`re in love, you yearn to go about doing acts of kindness to everybody. P. H. Wodehouse Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache. M. West To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. The proper basis for marriage is a mutual misunderstanding. O. Wilde