That elusive ‘Saint Valentine’, known to only a few (apparently) – but a day of celebration recognised by many!
It has been stated that Valentine's Day was not named after a specific ‘saint’, but has its roots in the time of the Roman Empire (circa AD 120) when February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was recognised as the Goddess of Women and Marriage. The following day in Ancient Rome, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia when a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year; and so love and romance (perhaps for the lucky few at this time......) were in the air.
In the 16th Century, Shakespeare’s Ophelia referred to Valentine’s Day in her lament in Hamlet:
“To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.”
Here, Ophelia reflects the myth that the first man a maiden saw on St Valentine’s Day would become her husband.
Over the years, the acceptance of the relationship between Valentine’s Day and romance has blossomed (‘scuse the pun) into a multi-million pound business with flowers and tokens of love featuring heavily on the agenda:
“Then gather a wreath from the garden bowers,
And tell the wish of thy heart in flowers.”The Language of Flowers
James Gates Percival 1872
A nosegay (in Medieval times), tussie-mussie (in Victorian times), or posy/posey/posie is a small, intimate flower bouquet, often presented to a loved one as a Valentine’s Day gift – the flowers symbolising an expression of feeling. Today, boquets may be a tad more ostentatious, but did you know that red roses imply passionate, romantic love, pink roses a lesser affection, white roses, virtue and chastity and yellow roses stand for friendship or devotion?
What intrigues me, is asparagus (yes, asparagus) implies fascination!!
So, how will you demonstrate your affection for that special person?
We may not be able to offer flowers at AC Silver, but we can provide something twice as original that will last an awful lot longer.
Or how about a truly unique gift - a real Victorian posy holder?!