💝 February 💝
the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. In the Northern Hemisphere it is usually considered to be the last month of winter, and in the Southern Hemisphere it is the last month of summer.
February has 28 days clear and 29 each leap year. Every four years a day is added to the end of the month to adjust for the fact that although the calendar is 365 days long the earth’s revolution around the sun actually takes 365 days and 6 hours.
Leap year is the time when, in the olden days every February 29th, for 24 hours only, ladies could propose to their loved one and the gentlemen must say yes. It is thought the origins of such a revolutionary tradition started in Ireland in the 5th century. Allegedly two of the most famous Irish saints, Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid of Kildare were talking and Saint Brigid was complaining about how long women usually had to wait for their suitor to ask for their hand in marriage. Eventually, Saint Patrick decided to strike a deal with her, granting all women a chance every four years to be the ones to propose first. There is also a version of the legend that suggests that at that point, Brigid fell at Patrick’s feet and asked for his own hand in marriage. But history is not too inclined to believe that, seeing as Brigid was only ten years old when Saint Patrick died! Either way, the legend says that Patrick kindly refused, and offered a silk gown as payment in return.
The legend then became history, when in 1288 Scottish royalty passed a law giving all women the right to ask for a man’s hand in marriage every February 29th. If he refused he had to pay one of various fees: a kiss, a silk gown, or a pair of gloves. Silk gloves were actually specified in many Northern European societies as the proper fee to be paid. Apparently, gloves were considered a much more functional reparation than gowns, seeing as ladies could hide the embarrassment of not having a ring on their finger – while also being very fashionable at the same time!
When asked what the month of February represents, most people would say 'Valentines Day'. The tradition of Valentine’s Day is thought to be Roman in origin. A popular theory from the biographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. It is said that during his imprisonment he healed the daughter of his jailer, and that before his execution he wrote her a farewell letter signing it "Your Valentine".
By 1601 St. Valentine’s Day appeared to be an established part of English tradition, as William Shakespeare makes mention of it in Ophelia’s lament in Hamlet: "To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine".
In 1797 The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was first published. This contained gems of sentimental rhymes and ditties for those young gentlemen who were so much in love as to not be able to think clearly enough to compose their own verse. Ahh bless.
Happy Valentine's Day
💝 Be warm and well 💝