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St. Valentine’s Day...gone to the birds
The origins of this day are not exactly clear but it may have been created from Lupercalia, a pre-Christian Roman festival that was held in the honor of Pan and Juno to ensure fertility and a bountiful harvest. This festival was thought to start on the evening of February 14th and young men drew names of girls from a large urn to discover who would be their partner for the festival.
However, in the 4th century, the Christian Church became concerned about this pagan festival and tried to abolish it, but to no success. Thus they renamed the day after St. Valentine, supposedly an early Christian martyr, though it is highly likely that St. Valentine may have never existed.
The Puritans brought Valentine’s Day to America in 1629 but life was harsh and there was no time allowed for celebrations that seemed frivolous. Consequently, it took about another hundred years for Valentine’s Day to be celebrated in the United States.
During the middle ages there was a superstition believed that the first bird a young girl would see on Valentine’s Day would identify who her future husband would be:
Blackbird = A Clergyman
Robin = A Sailor
Goldfinch = An Extremely Wealthy Man
Yellowbird = A Well Off Man
Sparrow = A Farmer
Bluebird = A Happy But Poor Man
Crossbill = An Angry Man
Woodpecker = Will Never Marry
Dove = A Kind and Good Man