My Funny Valentine

Red roses

Red roses
Attribution: By Kaz Andrew from Edmonton,Alberta, Canada (RED ROSES 5 Uploaded by Dolovis) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been doing some investigating; I wanted to know where some of the traditions for Valentine’s Day come from. I discovered that the first mention of romantic love in connection with this day is in Parlement of Foules by Geoffrey Chaucer.

He wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

This is probably why Valentine’s Day is sometimes known as the Birds’ Wedding Day. I have noticed that around this time of the year the birds start collecting my hair from the lawn to line their nests.

This song is probably the most famous song connected to Valentine’s Day. At first I didn’t think it was very romantic, but then I realised it is saying there is more to love than appearances – that is a refreshing message!

In Finland and Estonia the name for Valentine’s Day translates as Friend’s Day and the day is about remembering friends. In some South American countries the name translates as The Day of Love and Friendship, so tokens of appreciation are given to friends as well as loved ones.

In Slovenia Saint Valentine was one of the saints of Spring. It was said that on this day the plants start to grow and it was celebrated by beginning work in the vineyards and fields again after the break for winter.

There are different stories about who Saint Valentine was. In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine was removed from the General Roman Calendar because very little was known about Saint Valentine.

The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia that was celebrated 13 – 15 February. Pope Gelasius abolished Lupercalia and some researchers think that it was replaced with a festival for Saint Valentine, other researchers say there is no connection. That’s typical of bipeds! If one tells you something is true, you don’t have to look far to find half a dozen bipeds to tell you it is definitely not true.

The Lupercalia festival honoured the she-wolf that looked after the infants, Romulus and Remus, and also celebrated the new life that the Spring brings. I thought it was very nice to honour the wolf in this way, until I discovered that they sacrificed two goats and a dog every year!

The origins of Saint Valentine’s Day may have been lost in the mists of time, but I like the idea of it being a celebration that Spring is on the way. I will make sure that I leave some of my hair outside for the birds to use in their nests.

The mists of time

The mists of time

See you next Wednesday!

74 thoughts on “My Funny Valentine

  1. Hey Clowie, guess what? I live in Edmonton, Alberta…that’s a neat coincidence.

    Interesting posts, I always thought Valentines Day was made up by greeting card company’s 😉 I stopped at the card stand today because I thought I’d get one for Mr B. I was shocked to find cards started at $7.99 and went up from there. Since I do these little scrapbook projects usually, I had no idea they’d gotten so expensive. One card I looked at was $11.99…Totally not spending $12.00 on a card…I think they should also cook the romantic meal for that much money, LOL. We’re going to a Wine festival for Valentines. 😀 It’s were hundreds of Wine Makers invite you to test their wine and people serve snacks….so that’ll be fun!

    Hope you’ll get some nice treats too xoK

    • I think it would be much nicer to receive one of your beautifully crafted cards than one from the store. The wine festival sounds like a fun way of celebrating.
      There must often be something interesting going on in the Festival City!

      • awww, thanks so much 😀 you’ve made me smile and I’m just waking up. It’s going to be a really good day.

        Yep, ‘Festival City’, you’ve done your homework I see. It all happens between June and September for the most part, Art, Theatre and my favourite, ‘The Street Performers Festival’. It’s days of outdoor fun with buskers from all over the world doing magic, music and comedy all over downtown. We also went to the Folk Festival last year (I posted) which is 4 days of outdoor music, also downtown. If you ever find yourself here, try to come in early August, we’ll hook up! 😀

        • I remember you posting about the music. Wasn’t that where you were perched on a precarious slope?
          If we ever come to your part of the world, we’ll definitely let you know – it would be lovely to meet up!

          • LOL, you’re right! The crazy hill…ha good memory. These events keep you young 😀 I actually felt that the next day, hahaha.

            So yes absolutely, we’ll make that a date 😀

  2. We’ll settle for it marking the arrival of Spring and not another marketing bonanza. You’re right about things beginning to grow and the birds starting to make their nests. Our chickens have even started to lay eggs again 😉

    • Yes, I think it’s nice to think about the approach of Spring and the world waking up again. Clever chickens – they know Spring is almost here!

  3. Now that is funny Clowie, we haven’t seen the birds in our tree for weeks. Yesterday a little blue tit, was popping in and out of the bird house we put up. Great post, catch ya next week xxxoxxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  4. Great post Clowie…for us it doesn’t mean Spring..we need an Autumn first 😉 but I always think of those who are made to feel left out by the commercial push on this day..i am sur eit makes those alone feel even more so. Hugs to you for Valentines day sweet Clowie 🙂 Fozziemum xx

    • Thank you. I think all the holidays can be difficult for some people. You can celebrate Autumn instead of Spring! I hear that in your part of the world it’s something to look forward to when it’s too hot!

      • They are for some people and it does ae you realise how lucky you are. And yes Autumn here is a great season..seems we had a winter that went straight to summer and skipped a real will be interesting to see how summer is when it moves to the northern countries..

        • Spring was rather strange for us last year. It started to warm up and then went back to winter, then suddenly hot.

          • Exactly the same here!! I kid you not..i thought this is lovely as we had a very cold winter without much rain to cut the chill..we had a shot period of warm days..then winter again..then no spring just our regular burn off period was useless hence the ground fuel for these fires…

  5. Well done Clowie….interesting info about this “day of love” we celebrate…..I think the card companies make out pretty well but with all the love flying about – everybody gets some! Speaking of which – HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!! 😉

    Love, Sammy

    • Thank you, Sammy. I thought it would be nice to know a little more than cards, chocolates and flowers. I hope you have a great time at the Valentine’s Ball.

  6. We agree love is in the air and the wildlife are at last out and about getting ready for Spring. Have a wonderful Wednesday Clowie.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. The excitement about birds has my cats all pumped up for Valentines Day now! Not many birds around here this time of year with the cold and snow!

  8. Another grrrrrrreat and informative post, Clowie. The birds are the smartest of all with what they do about gifts, they recycle our hair/fur to make a home for their babies while the rest of the biped world is shopping, BOL. Sending you and your bipeds tons of wags, drools, and appreciation for our connection. Max & Bella & scribe Paulette

  9. Very interestin’….

    I had to do some Valentine’s Day research myself, yesterday. Gosh there’s a lot of stuff out there!


  10. I refuse to take part of any Hallmark campaign.
    At the other person threatened me las week, “Leo, next Friday we are going for dinner, like it or not. I take no BS, you coming.”
    I rather go Saturday or Thursday, same thing right?
    I’m not romantic they say.
    I guess the date is sorta “romantic”, at least for animals, it’s seems like around this time mating season starts…

    • I think a different day “just because” can be more romantic – it certainly won’t be as crowded! But other people don’t always see it like that!

  11. Every time I hear Frank Sinatra I think of my Dad. He was a Sinatra freak. Thanks for the memories!

  12. I like the idea of celebrating spring being around the corner, too, Clowie! Especially right now…sooo cold where we are. As always, great post! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  13. What fascinating facts! Whee have just decided that Valentines is the time to show how much whee love our hoomans and more impawtently them to show how much they love us with food!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

  14. Dearest Clowie!
    Well, mes learned a lot! Mes has always wondered about where Valentines Day came from!
    Thanks yous for letting us knows!

  15. Very interesting post! And I agree that you should leave some of your fur outside for the birdies to “fur” their nests with. They do like that, and around here we are expecting a warm weekend, so some extra pet brushing is definitely in order. I wonder if the birds care it their nest is full of cat hair? Oh the irony.

  16. Clowie, Thank you for your thoughtful review and research on this subject. As a guy, I know not to come empty handed, excuses never work. Take care and again thanks, Biped Bill

  17. I’m always curious about the origins of holidays. It’s amazing how many were originally pagan holidays, refurbished by the Church to be religious holidays. And it’s amazing how many of the ancient traditions come into play in our modernized versions. Sadly, the holidays seem so commercialized today.

    • Yes, I like to know the origins of holidays. It is interesting how many traditions have pagan connections.
      It doesn’t matter what holiday it is now, someone is trying to make a connection with what they’re selling.

  18. Once again, you have given me much to think about and much information. I hope you and your bipeds and cats have a wonderful day of love and friendship! When I brush SamCat the Ripper, I put his fur outside too to help the birds with their nests. he know this is a friendly thing to do and how when we share some of ourself, we truly do help each other in a truly loving, friendly way. Hugs to you!!!

    • Thank you, I hope you have a wonderful day as well. I’ll think of you putting fur outside for the birds to use – I think it makes a lovely lining for their nests.

  19. Clowie I so like the idea that Valentine’s Day is a celebration that Spring is on the way and that the birds start thinking about nesting around this time. We are seeing Cardinals pairing up already and defending their territory. Nice that they can use your hair to line their nests! I used to have a crush on Frank Sinatra when I was in my teens… 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day Clowie ♥

    • Yes, I like the idea of celebrating that Spring is on the way! It’s lovely to see the birds hopping around collecting nesting material. I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  20. I’ll bet your fur makes a wonderful lining in the nests! While I’d love to think that the day brings the first stirrings of Spring, that’s hard to do this year. Since last night, we’ve had over 19 inches of snow, and we’re supposed to get more tonight! You can bet some photos will be showing up on my blog. 🙂

    • That’s a lot of snow! I’d have a wonderful time bouncing about in that. But I can see why you’re having a hard time believing Spring is approaching! I look forward to seeing the photographs.

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