Valentine’s Day Superstitions, History and Legends

Valentine’s Day Superstitions Answer the Question “Whom Will I Marry?”

  • On Valentine’s Day, the first man or woman’s name you read in the paper or hear on the TV or radio will be the name of the person you will marry.
  • If you find a glove on the sidewalk on Valentine’s Day, your future beloved will have the other missing glove.
  • If you see a squirrel on Valentine’s Day, you will marry a cheapskate who will not spend money on you.
  • If you see a goldfinch on Valentine’s Day, you will marry a millionaire.
  • If you see a flock of doves on Valentine’s Day, you will have a happy, peaceful marriage.
  • If a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor.
  • If a woman sees a sparrow, she will marry a poor man and be very happy.
  • In Great Britain, a woman would write down the names of her sweethearts’ on pieces of paper and attach them to clay balls. She would then drop the balls into water and the first name that surfaced would be her destined future husband.

Throughout time, romantics throughout the world have had different legends pop up, all basically with the same end result, discovering your future mate’s identity. In England many traditions have been practiced. Ladies were supposed to pin bay leaves to her pillow on the Eve of St. Valentine’s Day. If she did this she was believed to see her future mate in her dreams that night. Another Valentine’s Day tradition occurred a hundred of years ago where children would dress up as adults and go door to door singing a Valentine song to celebrate the holiday. In Wales, people carve wooden spoons and embellish them with ornate keys, key holes and hearts, this symbolically meaning, “unlock my heart”. These spoons would be given to the valentines as gifts.

From the Middle Ages, women would write their names on pieces of paper and they would be put into a jar. If their name was drawn by an eligible man he would take her paper and pin it on his sleeve for the week and he would be her Valentine. This is where it is believed the phrase “Wearing one’s heart on his sleeve” comes from.

In England, if a young women was curious enough, and brave enough, she could summon the appearance of her future spouse by visiting a graveyard at midnight on the Eve of St. Valentines Day and singing a prescribed song while running around a church 12 times

Valentine’s Day History and Legend

Superstitions about Valentine's DaySt. Valentine, as he has become known, was a Catholic priest in Rome during the times of Emperor Claudius II. Claudius, who was known in his times as “Claudius the Cruel” had decreed that men were no longer allowed to marry. It was Claudius’s belief that single, men without families were the best soldiers. Valentine found this law absurd and went against the law, marrying couples in secret. This was soon discovered by Claudius II and Valentine was taken to prison and ordered beheaded.

It is said that in his final days in prison, Valentine wrote a letter to his jail keepers daughter who had been visiting him during his imprisonment. He signed the letter, “From your Valentine”. This is what is now thought of as the first Valentine card. St. Valentine is said to have died on February 14th and this is why we celebrate the holiday on this day. Others say it was in conjunction of the belief in Roman times that birds picked their mates on February 14th. Valentines cards, as we know them today, are said to have been around since the Victorian Era. Originally they were all handmade and decorated with pictures of hearts, flowers, birds and LOTS of lace. Traditionally they were also sent anonymously, even going as far as to go to another town so that they receiver of the card would not know where it was mailed from.

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