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Scarlet sails of love

love

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

St Valentine’s Day is the day for exchanging love messages, chocolates, roses, and promises.
Nowadays it is celebrated all over the world and millions of people receive Valentine cards on February 14th. Originally, Valentine cards were only sent by men to women.
The oldest existing Valentine card can be found in the British Museum. It was sent in 1415.
Your heart beats faster when you are in love. This is why the heart is considered to be the centre of our emotions and is always used to illustrate love.

Your blood pressure rises, bringing more blood to the surface of the skin. Your hair and skin improve in texture and your voice becomes deeper. Your immune system is also stronger, making you glow with health.
The most popular symbol of the holiday is red or pink heart, pierced with an arrow.
The Roman god of love – Cupid is a symbol of passionate, tender, or playful love.
A rose is the most romantic symbol of love.

St. Valentine

St. Valentine

St. Valentine’s Day in the USA is neither a national nor a religious holiday, despite the fact that is named in honour of two early Christian martyrs named Valentine. Still, it is hard to imagine the American holiday calendar without the heartfelt expression of love exchanged on that day between sweethearts, good friends, acquaintances, and even spouses f many years. Whatever the appropriate sentiment, and regardless of reciprocation, people take the time and trouble to send a message to those people dear to them. Robert Burns sang his beloved “Me Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose”, and to this day red roses are appropriate for that one special love. However, yellow roses are also popular on that day, as a sign of friendship, and forget-me-nots also make sense.
Flowers or anonymous messages from someone shy or tender-hearted, may be signed simply “from a secret admirer”, in the relative certainty that the person receiving them can easily guess who the sender is. This allows for articulation of feelings which would probably otherwise go unexpressed (or simply unheard) in a culture which rather garishly flaunts its lack of sexual inhibitions, is well known for its direct, no-frills approach to courtship, but which is actually, generally speaking, quite reserved and in need of venues for expressing true affection.
Whatever the reasons, Americans of all ages love to send and receive valentines, and to hear and sing many new and traditional love songs which flood television and radio programs on that day. Songs like My Love, I’ll Have to say I Love You in a Song, You are my Sunshine and More, and countless other boom out to reach the ears of a public which has tacitly agreed to be romantic, at least for a day.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, school children typically make valentines for their teachers and classmates and put them in a large decorated mailbox. The joyous chatter of children engaged in creating handmade valentines out of colored paper, bits of ribbon, glitter, yarn, stickers, and lace, is a combination of the happy hands involved I an attractive craft activity and the anticipation of giving and receiving these personalized tokens. When the big day arrives, the teacher opens the box and distributes the valentines into eager hands. As the students excitedly read their messages, refreshments are prepared, and then they have a small party.
Honestly speaking, with so much excitement and emotion in the air, few Americans have taken the time to find out much about the origins of St Valentine’s Day. The celebration dates back to the ancient Roman festival called “Lupercalia” which took place on February 14th or 15th, in honor of Juno, Roman Goddess of woman, and Pan, the god of nature. On that day a curious courting ritual was played out in which young man randomly drew from an urn love messages written and decorated by young woman. Thus, “matched by fate”, the two would be partners at the upcoming festival. This echoes the old folk tradition that the birds choose their mates on this day as well.
But merely imitating what the birds do could hardly justify the continuation and spread of this Roman custom throughout Christian Europe in the Middle Ages. It needed the sanction of the church and the authority of some martyred saint. Two likely candidates were soon found. The first, Valentine, was Christian pries who was imprisoned and executed in the third century for spreading the teachings of Christ. On February 14, he was beheaded, but not before he managed to heal the jailer’s blind daughter and write her farewell letter which he signed “From Your Valentine”. The second Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time and was imprisoned for secretly marrying couples, contrary to the laws Roman emperor. Legend has it that he was burned at the stake. The lives and deeds of these two men certainly fit in well with the theme needed to keep February 14th in the holiday calendar; and by some strange paradox their deaths have helped to keep many a troubadour from going hungry throughout the ages.
The valentine lottery existed still in 17th century England; according to one French writer who described to his countrymen how, at one party he attended, guests of both sexes drew lots of partners. From there it spread to an early American colonies, where it gained ever increasing popularity, particularly in the 1800s, fuelled by such sentimental tunes as “Down in the Valley”.
Among all red hearts, birds, love letters, candies, chocolates and kisses which comprise valentine symbolism and gifts, Cupid of Eros is the unquestioned favorite in personifying the eternally child-like son of Venus, the goddess of love. Although he reminded a baby, he could fly, and was equipped with a tiny bow and countless golden arrows forged for him by the god of fire Vulcan. His mother gave the arrows special power, and that is why if Cupid shot you with his arrow, you would fall in love with the first person you met.
It’s funny how some things never change. The idea of star-crossed lovers, those brought together by fate or divine intervention, such as Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, has been exalted in the literature and art all ages. Inspired by these names, many teenagers and adults today send in messages to major newspapers throughout the country which, for a small fee, print anyone’s valentine message in a special section of the February 14th issue, whether it be addressed to a wished for sweetheart, secret lover, or to a friend and companion of many years.
Now, St. Valentine’s Day is the day of sweethearts. On this day, people show their friends, relatives and loved ones that they care. People send candy or flowers to those whom they love. Most people send valentines, greeting cards named after St. Valentine’s letters written from jail.

History of Cupid

Cupid

Cupid is the most famous Valentine symbol and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts. He is known as a mischievous, winged child whose arrows signify desires and emotions of love. Cupid aims those arrows at gods and humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman’s he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.
There is a very interesting story about Cupid and his mortal bride, Psyche in Roman mythology. Venus was jealous of the beauty of Psyche, and ordered Cupid to punish the mortal. But instead, Cupid fell deeply in love with her. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal she was forbidden to look at him.
Psyche was happy until her sisters persuaded her to look at Cupid. As soon as she looked at him, Cupid punished her by leaving her. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished too. Psyche found herself alone in an open field with no signs of other beings or Cupid. As she wandered trying to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each harder and more dangerous than the last.
For her last task Psyche was given a little box and told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box. During her trip she was given tips on avoiding the dangers in the realm of the dead. She was also warned not to open the box. But Temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. But instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.
Cupid found her lifeless on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. Cupid forgave her, as did Venus. The gods, moved by Psyche’s love for Cupid made her a goddess.
Today, Cupid and his arrows have become the most popular of love signs, and love is most frequently depited by two hearts pierced by an arrow, Cupid’s arrow.

Traditions

love picture

Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine’s Day. They went singing from home to home.
In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations o the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.
Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire. But if a girl saw a woodpecker, it meant she would never marry.
A love seat is a wide chair. It was first made to seat one woman and her wide dress. Later, the love seat or courting seat had two sections, often in a S-shape. In this way, a couple could sit together – but not too closely!
Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, as you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

love picture

The language of love
Esperanto — Mi amas vinu
French — Je t’aime
German — Ich liebe Dich
Italian — Ti amo
Spanish — Те quiero
Portuguese — Eu te amo
Bulgarian — Obicham te
Danish — Jeg elsker dig
Dutch — Ik hou van jou
Greek — S’ ayapo
Estonian — Mina armastan sind
Latvian — Tev milu
Lithuanian — Tave miliu
Czech — Miluji te Ja
Polish — Cie Kocham
Slovak — Lubim ta
Norwegian — Eg elskar deg
Turkish — Seni seviyorum
Chinese — Wo ie ni
Japanese — Kimi о ai shiteru
Yiddish — Ikh hob dikh lib

love picture

GIFTOSCOPE will help you to choose a present for your boyfriend or girlfriend.
ARIES is sociable but vain. Perfume, aftershave, or a pocket mirror would be ideal gilts for this sign.
A practical TAURUS might like a book on their hobby or a set of screwdrivers.
Communicative, fun-loving GEMINI would be happy with a pen or a video of their favourite film.
Sentimental CANCER loves food. So how about a cake with a romantic message on it?
LEO loves to look good so something trendy to wear would be best.
VIRGO is the tidiest sign of the zodiac so something like a diary would be the best idea.
LIBRA loves luxury, so a silk handkerchief or a meal at a restaurant would suit them.
SCORPIO would love to receive some sexy underwear for a special Valentine’s Day present.
SAGITTARIUS loves sport so anything related to sports would be perfect.
Calculating CAPRICORN likes to keep organized so a calculator or address book would be appreciated.
Eccentric AQUARIUS would like a gadget that is new, fun and useful.
Dreamy PISCES loves music and books so the best present is a romantic book or a CD of love songs.

SECRET MESSAGES

girl with a fan

Our great great grandmothers didn’t have mobile phones and were deprived of the pleasure of text messaging. However, they had other ways of communicating their feelings.
Here are some examples of the popular fan language:
Fan slow — I am married or engaged
Fan fast — I am independent
Fan with right hand in front of face — Come on, follow me
Fan with left hand in front of face — Leave me
Fan open and shut — Kiss me
Fan wide open — Love
Fan by the right cheek — Yes
Fan by the left cheek – No

The dynamics of hugging

hugging

Hugging is healthy. It helps the body’s immunity system. It keeps you healthier. It cures depression. It reduces stress. It induces sleep. It’s invigorating. It’s rejuvenating. It has no unpleasant side effects and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug. Hugging is all natural. It is organic, naturally sweet, has no pesticides, no preservatives, artificial ingredients and is 100% wholesome.
Hugging is practically perfect. There are no moveable parts, no batteries to wear out, no periodic checkups, no high energy demands, no monthly payments, no insurance requirements. It is inflation proof, non-fattening, theft proof, non-taxable, non-polluting and of course, fully returnable.

The Hug
It’s wondrous what a hug can do
It can cheer you up when you
Are feeling blue.
A hug can say I love you so,
And how I hate to see you go.
A hug means welcome back with cheer,
It seems you have been gone a year.
A hug can soothe a small a small child’s pain
And bring a rainbow after rain.
About a hug there is no doubt,
It’s something we can’t live without.
A hug will warm, delight and charm
It must be why God made an arm.
Hugs are great for favorite aunts
‘Twill help them more than potted plants.
Kittens crave them, puppies love them.
Heads of state are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier
And make the dullest day far merrier.
So stretch those arms without delay
And give someone a hug today!
By Abe Edlin

A Hug
A hug is a perfect gift.
One size fits all,
And no one minds if you exchange it.
It’s wondrous what a hug can do
A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.
A hug can say, “I love you so” or
“Gee, I hate to see you go.”
A hug is, “welcome back again” or
“Great to see you, where have you been?”
A hug delights and warms and charms,
It must be why God gave us arms.

The romantic tradition of poetry

first love

MY VALENTINE

I have a little Valentine
That someone sent to me.
It’s pink and white
And red and blue.
And pretty as can be.
Forget-me-nots
Are round the edge,
And tiny roses, too;
And such a lovely piece of lace,
The very palest blue.
And in the center
There’s a heart
As red as red can be!
And on it’s written
All in gold, “To You,
With love from Me”.
By M.C. Parsons

The sky is high,
The sea is deep.
Thinking of you
I cannot sleep.

I dream about you every night.
Be my Valentine and hold me tight

I LOVE YOU MORE THAN APPLESAUCE

I love you more than applesauce,
Than peaches and a plum,
Than chocolate hearts,
And cherry tarts,
And berry bubble-gum.
I love you more than lemonade,
And seven-layer cake,
Than lollipops,
And candy drops,
And thick vanilla shake.
I love you more than marzipan,
Than marmalade on toast;
For I love pies Of any size.
But I love you the most.
By J. Prelutsky

WHY DO BOYS LIKE GIRLS?

Here are a few of a million reasons why boys like girls.
They will always smell good even if its just shampoo.
How cute they look when they sleep.
How cute they are when they eat.
The way they take hours to get dressed but in the end it makes it all worthwhile.
Because they are always warm even when it’s minus 30 degrees outside.
The way they look good no matter what they wear.
The way they fish for compliments even if you both know that you think she’s the most beautiful girl in the world.
How cute they are when they argue.
The way they smile.
The way you feel when you see her name on the call display after you’ve just had a big fight.
The way they kiss you when you do something nice for them.
The way they kiss you when you say “I love you»’.
Actually… just the way they kiss you…
The way they fall info your arms when they cry.
The way they say “I miss you”.
The way their tears make you want to change the world so that it doesn’t hurt her anymore. ..
Author Unknown

WHY DO GIRLS LIKE BOYS?

Here are a few of a million reasons why girls like boys.
The way they look at you and you want to die right then and there.
The way they open their arms to you when you are crying.
The way they kiss away your tears.
Just the way they kiss you.
The way they hold you close when you are cold.
The way they say “I love” you when you are together. The way they say “I love you” in front of their friends. Just the way they say “I love you”.
The way they smile at you.
The way they always let you win any game that you play together.
The way they look at you when you’re mad at them and all your anger melts away.
How they always know just what to say to make you blush.
The way they never admit that you’ve hurt them.
How they sometimes think that they know just what to say to make you feel better, even if you think that it is the worst thing that they could say.
The way they always wear their favourite cologne (which happens to be the one that you bought them for their birthday).
The way that they try not to cry when they are afraid that they are losing you.
Author Unknown

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need; by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath.
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
By Elizabeth Barrnett Browing

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright,
Meet in the aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to than tender light
Which heaven and gaudy day denies.
By Lord Byron

If ever two one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women you can
I prize thy love more than whole mines of Gold.
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold repay,
Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.
By Ann Bradstreet

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
By William Shakespeare

He Wishes for the Cloth of Heaven
Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim of the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I being poor have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.
By William Butler Yeats

All love, at first, like generous wine,
Ferments and frets until ’tis fine,
But, when ’tis settled on the lee,
And from th’ impurer matter free,
Becomes the richer still the older,
And Proves the pleasanter the colder.
By Samuel Butler

Deare, when I from thee am gone,
Gone are all my joys at once;
I loved thee, and thee alone,
In those love I joyed once,
And although your sights I leave,
Sight wherein my joys do lie,
Till that death do sense bereave,
Never shall affection die.
By John Downland

Through all eternity to thee
A joyful song I’ll raise,
For oh! Eternity is too short
To utter all thy praise.
By Joseph Addison

Never so happily in one
Did heaven and earth combine;
And yet ’tis flesh and blood alone
That makes her so divine.
By Thomas D’Urfey

O, my love’s like a red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June,
O, my love’s like a melodie,
That’s sweetly played in tune.
By Robert Burns

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
By Christopher Marlowe
love picture