Saturday, November 27, 2010

Courting Customs in America

~~~~~ Cupid's Swift Arrow ~~~~~

No book on "Courtship Customs in America" would be complete without a celebration of the most romantic holiday of the year ~ Valentine's Day

Originally, the word Valentine meant the person whose name was picked from a box to be chosen as your sweetheart up until the 1500's. Then around the year 1533, it meant the folded piece of paper with the sweethearts name on it. By 1610, it then became the gift given to this special someone and by 1824 it then became a poem, letter or verse to a sweetheart

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 every year. It originally was celebrated in February in ancient Roman times.

~~~~~~~~~~ Valentine Day Cards ~~~~~~~~~~

The custom of exchanging love notes goes back to the ancient Roman times. It was the British, however, who popularized sending one's feelings to another by the means of a printed card. The first Valentine card appeared in 1415. Commercial Valentines first appeared in 1800 in England.

In America, hand-made Valentines appeared around 1740 and were sealed with red wax and left secretly on a lovers doorstep (or sent in the mail). Commercial cards took over around the 1880's but, people still made homemade ones, including ones with trinkets and some with locks of hair. In some cases there were checks written against "The Bank of Love".

When Valentine cards got to America, they became very creative in nature. The first known Valentine to come to the United States was a note written by John Winthrop in 1629 to his wife before leaving England for the New World.

The Valentine ended with "My sweet wife, thou must be my valentine for none other hath challenged my heart."

John Winthrop later became the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

~~~~~~~~~~ Quotes ~~~~~~~~~~

"A kiss is something you cannot give without taking and cannot take without giving" ~ Traditional Valentine greeting, circa 1876