Thursday, 9 February 2012

Valentine Traditions

With the 14th February fast approaching I thought i would spend a little time browsing the net to find some old Valentines Traditions........I wonder how many of them you will of heard of?

Hundreds of years ago in the UK, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing round their neighbourhood.
One of the verses they sang was: 

Good morning to you, valentine;
Curl your locks as I do mine ---
Two before and three behind.
Good morning to you, valentine.

In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"

 In Scotland valentines gifts were given by both parties in the form of a love-token or a true-love-knot.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women chose names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. Could this be where the saying  "wear your heart on your sleeve" comes from?

In some countries, a young woman would receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she kept the gift, it meant she would marry him.

It is also traditionally believed that a girl is able to tell what sort of man she will marry by the first bird she sees on St. Valentine's day.
A Blackbird - Priest, A Robin - Sailor, A Goldfinch (any yellow bird) - a rich man, A Sparrow - Farmer, Any blue bird - a happy man, A Dove - a loving man, A Woodpecker - she will not marry.

If a hen and a cockerel are seen together on this day, it indicates that she will marry during the next year.

Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

When peeling an apple, try and peel it in one piece from top to bottom, and then throw the peel over your left shoulder. When it lands on the floor look for a shape of a letter - it will be the letter of your future husband

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

If the names of all a girl's suitors were written on paper and wrapped in clay and the clay put into water, the piece that rose to the surface first would contain the name of her husband-to-be.

It's a shame some of these traditions have got lost over time.

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