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Valentine's Day Superstitions

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More recent traditions involve men and women exchanging cards which contained love dedications or even marriage proposals, each highly decorative, hand-made and personally designed. This tradition commenced in the Middle Ages. The sender then as now should never sign the card as it was considered to bring bad luck. Of course it also stifles any idea of guessing who might be in love with you. The idea of the secret admirer has long charmed both men and women alike.

Love divination games were very popular during the Victorian period for young lovers. There are many divination rituals and games. One of the most often used involved the potential lover writing the name of their favourite persons on a piece of paper and sealing it in clay which was then dropped into a bowl of water. The first clay to rise to the surface when opened would reveal the name of their future sweetheart or 'Valentine'. Sending a gift to the person was the next step towards revelation and happiness in love.

Birds and Love

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usEuropeans also believe that Feb. 14th is the day when birds begin to choose their mates. Chaucer, Shakespeare, and numerous other poets mention the tradition in their work. In accordance with the tradition, it is believed that a young girl will be able to tell what type of man she will marry based upon the first bird that she sees on Valentine's Day.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBlackbird~A Clergyman or Priest

Image Hosted by Robin Redbreast~Sailor or Nautical man

Image Hosted by Goldfinch (or any yellow bird)~A rich man

Image Hosted by Sparrow~A farmer or country gentleman

Image Hosted by Bluebird~A happy man

Image Hosted by Crossbill~An argumentative man

Image Hosted by Dove~A good man

Image Hosted by Woodpecker~No husband

Rose, Large

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The Language of Flowers

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMany different flowers are also associated with this day, given as tokens of love. A European belief in the power of the saffron coloured crocus to attract attention of a lover is best done if worn in the buttonhole. Armed with this she is more likely to meet her future intended. In order to dream of a future husband on this night one European custom often followed was the placing of fresh Bay Leaves under the pillow the night before.

The type of flowers sent or decorating a card adds further meaning to a Valentine card and has come to be known as 'The Language of Flowers'. Some of the most well known Valentine flowers to be used to decorate the cards are highlighted below with an idea of the specific symbolism behind their inclusion, not all of which indicate love blossoming but also love on the wain.

Almond Blossom~As a symbol of hope, sweetness, delicacy.
Anenome~As a symbol of withered hopes, a dying love.
Forget-me-not~As a symbol of true love
Lily~As a symbol of purity (white), gaiety or falsehood (yellow).
Periwinkle~As a symbol of early friendship (blue), happy memories (white).
Poppy~As a symbol of fantastic extravagance (scarlet), consolation (red). If the love is faithful,placing a petal in the palm of the hand and hitting it with a fist should produce a popping sound
Rose ~As a symbol of love, pure and lovely (red rose buds), jealousy (yellow). This flower is dedicated to love.
Snowdrop~As a symbol of hope, consolation. The flower is thought mythologically to have been a snowflake which was transformed to comfort Adam and Eve after they had been expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Sunflower~As a symbol of the sun, and also haughtiness.
Tulip~As a symbol of powerful love being declared (red), hopeless love (yellow). The heart burning symbolically like a flame

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