Valentines Day is relatively new to the Danes. It isn't an old tradition like it is in the English speaking countries. As I remember it, the first greeting cards was sold in the stores in 1994-95. In Denmark it is most common among people in love to give each other cards and gifts....We don't use to send Valentine cards to our friends.

Valentines dag er noget nyt der er indført i Danmark. - Det er ikke en gammel tradition som i de engelsktalende lande.

I Danmark er det mest udbredt blandt forelskede mennesker.. vi sender ikke så mange venskabs valentines kort til hinanden.


The History of Valentine's Day.
Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial -- which probably occurred around 270 A.D -- others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February -- Valentine's Day -- should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".


A day for hearts and flowers
The time to say you care
A chance to tell your loved ones
You're glad that they are there.
But!, wonder why we wait
Until, this certain day
To do those "special" things
And, say those things we say?
Why not? Tell mate or lover
Each day, the whole year through
"Valentine, I'm glad you're mine
And, I sure do love you".
Del “Abe” Jones
As early as the Fourth, B.C.
Back in the Roman Nation
A boy was assigned a girl
For a one year duration.
Eight hundred years, a practice
Till church fathers sought its end
They found the answer in Valentine
Who was martyred at his life’s end.
Some two hundred years before
An edict by Claudius-II
Forbade marriage in the Empire
(Not too smart a thing to do!)
There were forces from within
And threats from lands all about
The soldier’s wives and families
He thought, they could do without.
He wanted all his Armies
To have but one thing on their mind
Hoped that one Love, of Country
Would make them a special kind.
Valentine, a church bishop
Saw young Lovers in their pain
He met them in a secret place
Brought matrimony back again.
He joined them in the sacrament
Helped them make their marriage vow
Going against the Emperor’s wishes
More than his laws would allow.
He learned of this “friend of lovers”
And had him placed under arrest
Tried to convert him to the Roman Gods
But Valentine withstood that test.

He even tried to turn the tables
Show Claudius the Christian way
Knowing he would be executed
For that was the law of the day.
While Valentine awaited his fate
He made friends with his jailer
Who had a daughter who was blind
Who searched for a miraculous cure.
Well, Valentine restored her sight
Through his faith he claimed, divine
Wrote a last farewell note to her
And signed it, “From Your Valentine.”
February twenty-four, Two Seventy
He was executed for his “crime”
And thus became a Patron Saint
To be remembered for all time.
There was an annual festival
Young Romans wrote greetings of Love
To young ladies they longed to court
Which Valentine oversaw from above.
The cards were named after him
The Fourteenth chosen as the date
When those messages were passed around
To try to change the Lover’s fate.
One of the earliest cards known sent
Was by a Duke in Fourteen-Fifteen
Preserved in the British Museum
Where, still today it can be seen.
And to this day, around the World
We still send those cards to Lovers
Asking, “Valentine, will you be mine?”
And sometimes, we even ask some others.

Del “Abe” Jones
© February 3, 2006

It seems so, that now-a-days
Cards and candy and that stuff
Roses and other pretty flowers
Sometimes, don't seem to be enough.
In this age of self-indulgence
And going to all of those extremes
The true meaning of Valentines
Has gotten lost, somewhere, it seems.
We go out and spend that money
Or use that plastic, if we're broke
To try to convince our partner
To believe, love words we spoke.
But of all those million ways
Of those dollars that we spend
There are just a couple things
To make love last to the end.
To be a friend and confidant
To be there and to reach out
A look, a smile, a loving touch
Is, what it really is all about.
The cards, candy and flowers
And all of those other things
Will never be as important
As the love that the truth brings.
So, go out and get those gifts
That may bring a tear and smile
And then, all other days of the year
Just do those little things, worthwhile.
Del “Abe” Jones

You are my Valentine.
Accept the love I give.
A love to last forever
As long as we shall live.
I need your love in return;
Without it, emptiness.
The greatest treasure on this
That we can possess.
I think of you when I'm awake
Dream of you when I sleep;
The thoughts can make me smile,
The dreams can make me weep. 
Though we're apart, so many miles,
My love is still with you;
For you are a major part of
Every single thing I do. 
So I'll just go on searching,
Trying to find the way
To get you to return to me
To make each a "Valentine's Day".
Del “Abe” Jones

Remember when a Valentine
Was just a name that you just drew
And you could give that Paper Heart
To someone you barely knew.
Or you maybe gave your Heart
To everybody in your Class
Drawn and cut, with Your Words
That were so much fun to pass.
And too, those little Candy Hearts
That you used to pass around
Searching Colors and the Words
Until that Perfect One was found.
And remember that Special One
Who made your Heart skip a beat
Who you gave that Special Card
Who gave your Heart a Special Treat.
And remember how easy it was
To tell a Classmate, “I Love You!”
Not just three meaningless words
Cause everyone knew they were True.
Oh, for those Days of Innocence
When everything seemed to be just Fine
And you weren’t afraid to ask aloud,
“Will you please be my Valentine?”
Del “Abe” Jones
I'd like to make a Valentine
Especially for you
I'd like to send you flowers
And a box of candy, too,
I'd like to hold you close to me
And whisper in your ear
And tell you all those sweet things
That ladies love to hear.
I'd like to kiss you tenderly
And say, "This day's for you."
I'd like to be your Valentine
And have you be mine, too.
I'd like to do all of these things
But since there is, no way
I'd like to say, "I hope you have
A very happy, Valentines day."
Del "Abe" Jones

A day for hearts and flowers -
That time of the year -
When I miss you  the most
And wish that you were here.
Not really so different
Than any other day -
For, the whole year though
This, my heart has to say
"I love you and miss you, Dear
Though, you're no longer mine -
You are and always will be
My favorite Valentine."

         WHAT YOU GOT?

‘Don’t matter who you love
Just do it every day
Don’t look over the fence
Think, “There is a better way.
A hand in your hand
Is worth more than, so much
Sometimes there’s nothing more
That’s worth a loving touch.
Sometimes we don’t think
“This is what I want!”
But when, the chance ain’t there
The questions seem to haunt.
“Should I have or shouldn’t?
What if I’d gone there?
Would there be that someone
Who might really care?”
Valentines are someone
Who’ll be there when you’re not
Give their heart and soul for you
And not ask, “What you got?”
Del “Abe” Jones

If you have a Valentine
If somebody holds your heart
Or if there’s one you want to be
You need to tell them, that’s the start.
If you can reach and touch them
You’re as lucky as can be
‘Cause there’s so many all alone
Like those, we’ve sent, across the Sea.
So, let’s say a prayer for them
For, their quick and safe return
Support the loved ones left behind
And learn, their lessons, learned.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"
Just ask all those who spend that Day
Without a loved one, all alone
And I’m sure that they'd all say,
If you have one treat them well
And hold them, good and tight
Tell them of the love you feel
Each and every, morn and night.
For, there’s some people, go through life
And never have someone to share
A special day, like Valentine’s
And to tell, how much, they care.
Del "Abe" Jones
Another day for hearts and flowers ‑
Another year has come to pass ‑
Another day of lonely hours ‑
Another year just like the last ‑
Another day without a lover ‑
Another year wanting to share ‑
Another day like every other ‑
Another year, no one to care ‑
Another day searching my soul ‑
Another year with aching heart ‑
Another day without a goal ‑
Another year for love to start ‑
Another day with empty arms ‑
Another year with none to hold ‑
Another day, no lady's charms ‑
Another year, no story told ‑
Another day with a sad song ‑
Another year to try to get
Another day to string along
Another year, for a duet ‑
Another day of dreams and hope ‑
Another year out of my time ‑
Another day to try to cope ‑
Another year, no Valentine.
Del “Abe” Jones

Please tell me, oh heart of mine
Where did you hide my Valentine
Where did the loving feelings go
That used to make, your beat, race so.
Where do I go to find that touch
Of a warm hand, that meant so much
A look in eyes, without a word
That said those three, I once heard.
‘Guess, I should be, heart of mine
Glad, we once had a Valentine
And have those memories we know
That still make, your beat, race so.
Del “Abe” Jones

I just want you to know
On this Valentines' Day
How much you mean to me
And what my heart has to say.
Although I can't spend the time
That I would like with you
What little we do share
Makes me love you more, it's true.
I appreciate the moments
When you make my heart soar
Like every time I see you
As you walk in the door.
I know I can't expect you
To feel the same as I
But my hope won't go away
And that's why I have to try.
You're like no other "LADY"
That I have ever known
And I can't help my feelings
Or keep them from being shown.
I wouldn't do it if I could
Because in my heart of hearts
I know it must be faith and trust
Before the real love starts.
Please believe me when I tell you
I will never do you wrong
And if you would let me in
You'd find a love, true and strong.
Maybe I'm just dreaming
And maybe I'm a fool
But I know that love is
The worlds' greatest tool.
So few learn how to use it
Don't see where it ends and starts
But if you let me I will show you
There in your heart of hearts.
Del "Abe" Jones



Back to Valentine



Copyright © 2008 Bent Bay