A Valentine’s Day Surprise … or not

February 14th, 2011         1 comment

Perhaps they’ve been there since Christmas, but I didn’t notice them until February 6th. They are tied too high on the two dogwood trees to have been placed there by children. A dozen red ribbons commemorate something, but we’ll never know what. Whimsical mysteries like this are always fun to discover and the millpond area has its share.

If they are there to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, the holiday has its own mysteries fogged by the passage of time. No one really knows which Valentine is THE Valentine. It might be Valentinus who commited the crime of performing weddings for Christians circa 269. He paid with his head. It might also be Valentine of Terni who was martyred in AD 197. There are several other possibilities.

The feast day didn’t become associated with romantic love until 14th Century Chaucer (of Canterbury Tales fame) jumped into the fray with a 700-line poem (Parliament of Birds) stating Valentine’s Day was when birds choose their mates. It was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. The date for THAT Valentine’s Day was May 2. If you’d like to become more confused, Wikipedia will muddle you through it all with their Saint Valentine and Valentine’s Day entries.

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