There is no mistaking that St. Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine as he was martyred for refusing to renounce Christianity on 14th February 269 A.D., and in 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine. As with most Christian festivals, there is a pagan counterpart to this day for lovers. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno, Queen of the Gods. As the Goddess of Marriage, Juno’s celebration included feasts and ‘pairings’ where children were selected at random to become couples who would celebrate the feast of Lupercalia together the following day.
So there you go, a few choice facts for you to boldly share around the office later this week!
The Chinese New Year this weekend celebrates our entry into the Year of the Tiger. This sign is one of courage, bravery and it is said to protect people from fire, thieves and ghosts. However, the real life creatures are in need of our protection. That’s why we are promoting the WWF’s adoption drive. At the turn of the 19th century over 100,000 tigers roamed the earth, today tigers have declined by around 95 per cent in 100 years; so it is vital that we do everything we can do to protect these beautiful creatures.
The Adoption pack is now just £19.95 from Buyagift.co.uk – it includes a cuddly toy and a certificate of adoption as well as loads of information on the tigers. It’s a bargain – so support the tigers with Upon Reflection. Find out more here.
Every 2nd February is Candlemas Day, a day celebrated by Pagans and Christians. For pagans, the ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox. Known as the ‘Feast of Lights’, the festival celebrates the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring. For Christians, the festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. It is the day when all the candles for the coming year were brought into church and blessed.
Some people believe that Candlemas Day predicts the weather for the rest of winter. Another superstition allows Snowdrops to be brought into the house after Candlemas Day.
February is the only month with less than 30 days and the only month where the number of days changes. Usually only 28 days long every 4 years (a leap year) it goes to 29.
Because of it’s short duration it is also the only month that may pass without having a full moon.
In Roman times it was known for the festival or purification that happened on February 15th.
Associated Birthstone: Amethyst
Associated Flower: Violet
Star signs:Aquarius (21 January – 19 February) and Pisces (20 February – 20 March)
We’ve posted about Find My Past before now, but since the kind people are celebrating 2010 with a Free Trial for new customers, we thought it was worth telling you about. Find My Past is a company based entirely around helping people build their family tree. The beauty of their system is that all of their records are online, giving you instant access to them and making it really quick and easy to research your UK history and create a family tree. You can search census records, births, deaths and marriages.
So for everyone who has always wondered about their history, but never enough to splash the cash, this is the perfect solution.