Valentine’s Day in UK
If you are living in Norfolk, do not be surprised to find biscuits with heart biscuits glued to your doors, gates and cars on Valentine’s Day. You may say that you do not believe in folklores, but this is supposed to be the work of a mystical folk character called “Jack “ Valentine who supposedly knocks on back doors and leaves chocolates and presents for children on Valentine’s Day. If you do not believe this, ask the residents of Muriel Road. On the morning of 14th February 2000 they found treats everywhere. Though this was a welcome prank more than a custom, there are many other traditions and beliefs linked to Valentine’s Day in UK.
Similar to many European countries, people in UK believe that Valentine’s Day originated because of the day the Roman Priest, St .Valentine died. According to the story, it is said that St, Valentine had written a farewell note to his closest friend, his daughter signing it as “From Your Valentine”. Over time, this eventually became the day when love messages, poems and flowers were exchanged.
Valentine’s Day Traditions in United Kingdom
Each region, whether it is Norfolk, Sussex or Britain have their own deep rooted tales of ancient times and many people are still superstitious about things seen, done and said on Valentine’s Day.
- It is traditionally believed in Sussex that birds choose their mate on 14th February, the beginning of spring and thus call it 'Birds’ Wedding Day’.
- On that day, if a robin flies overhead, the woman will get married to a sailor; spotting a goldfinch would mean marrying a rich man while if she saw a sparrow, she would be destined to marry a poor man but will be happy.
- Another tradition was that the names of suitor’s of an unmarried girl was written on paper and then wrapped in clay. The clay pieces were them immersed in water and the one the rose first would have the name of the future husband.
- In Wales, a unique and beautiful custom on Valentine’s Day was to gift wooden spoons with custom design carved on them, such as hearts, keyholes and keys. The keys and keyholes were meant to represent the phrase “You unlock my heart!”
- In the Middle Ages, names were drawn from bowls to know who their valentines were. The name was tagged on their sleeves for the next whole week.
In Britain, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with elegance, charm and romance. There is custom here where children sin special songs of love and are gifted with treats like candies, fruits, money and sometimes specially baked Valentine buns made of raisins, plums and caraway seeds. Another romantic custom followed is the writing and reciting of poetic verses. Magazines and tabloids publish individually created compositions on the special day. This tradition originated from the poets of Britain who composed beautiful verses related to the patron saint of lovers, St. Valentine.