Valentine’s Day Traditions: Come And Go
The history of card giving in the United States has changed starting from the Civil War to what is practiced today. There were times when cards contain cruel and rude humor. Although, many cards have patriotic and political designs like images showing lovers, heroes, and generals. Nowadays, Internet have modified the way people give cards—through email. Customized designs for various occasions like Valentine’s Day are available for email messages. There are those with built songs and recorded messages. Some cards are even three-dimensional. Home-made cards are also given especially to lovers and parents.
While the traditions of United States have changed due to changing politics and technology, the Spring Festival of Italy just ceased. Before, this festival is held in the open area where the young would gather in an ornamental garden and listen to music and poetry reading. Couples in the City of Turin also used to announce their engagement on this day. Today, it is just part of an ancient history.
The Festival of Lupercalia in also an ancient tradition. It was held every February 14. A day before the Lupercalia, Roman women would honor Juno, the Queen and goddess of marriage and women in Roman mythology. On the day of the festival, they would write love letters and put it in a large urn. The men would then choose a love letter and pursue the woman who authored the chosen letter. It is believed that Valentine’s Day originated from this pagan festival.
In Australia, there were extravagant Valentine’s Day celebration. Miners who had newly found gold from the Ballarat mines were willing to spend on expensive and elaborate Valentine’s Day celebration. Australian merchants could send orders worth thousands of pounds. Valentine’s Day cards were made of satin cushion, designed with flowers, colored shells, and perfumed. Sometimes, these cards would even have humming birds or birds of paradise. These things were put in an expensive ornamented box.
There are traditions however that stayed in some countries like Germany and Denmark.
Some German traditions on Valentine’s Day are being practiced until now. The man usually gives flowers to the one they love on February 14. People also give love tokens with lovely messages. Although, this can be done on ordinary day. Generally, people give flowers and chocolates on this day.
In Denmark, the Valentine’s Day card is also known as the lover’s card. A transparent card that is when held up to the light shows a picture of a lover handing gift to his love.
Valentine’s Day in Denmark is celebrated by giving poems and candy snowdrops. Danish people also send funny love notes. These love notes are called gaekkebrev. It also refers to joking letters. On this letter, the sender signs his name in dots and if the receiver guesses correctly, the sender gets a candy egg at Easter time.