For a history geek like me it is interesting to see how the Valentine’s traditions came to be. There are a lot of theories surrounding its origins but it seems that the first time Valentine’s day was linked to love can be traced back to the 14th century.It was the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, mostly known for The Canterbury tales who mentioned Valentine’s day in his The parlement of foules C 1381.
For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
In modern English: For this was Saint Valentine’s day, when every bird of every kind comes to this place to choose his mate.
It is not known why the date 14 february was chosen, but of course there are a lot of assumptions. There wasn’t even one Christian Valentine, there were several martyrs with this name. It is however only since Chaucer’s mention in the Middle Ages that Valentine’s poems start popping up in history. The first ever love poem linked to Valentine’s day is believed to be by the hand of Charles Duker of Orleans who was captured in 1415 by Henry V because he was in line for the French throne. During his imprisonment he wrote a poem to his wife which links the day directly to a declaration of love. In his first few words he wrote:
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée
Since then, there have been innumerable other Valentine’s poems and the Valentine’s business is now rather about money than it is about love.
It seems that people need a date for things, Valentine’s for lovebirds, Stir-up Sunday to prepare the Christmas pudding and Black friday to spend your hard earned money on sales. And no matter how much ‘fun’ celebrating Valentine’s day can be, we should show our love and appreciation – respect – for each other on every day of the year. Because the every day – is what counts. The little things.
My lovely Bruno made me a bun with cheese to eat in the car before a workshop a few weeks ago – that is love my friends and it says a million more words than a Valentine’s card can say.
Have a good Valentine’s everyone! I’m sending you my love!
For you on this day this Passion fruit, persimmon pavlova with a hint of pepper to spice things up!
Find my recipe on the Great British Chef’s blog here >
And read about how I have had a love/hate relationship with merengue since I was a little girl.