By: Woodlands Online Staff
| Published 02/11/2022
THE WOODLANDS, TX â If youâre finding yourself unsure of how exactly to celebrate Valentineâs Day this year, youâre in good company; even the Catholic Church isnât quite sure which of the three recognized saints named âValentineâ (or âValentinusâ) is the one that we equate to the Love Day version of Santa Claus.
Check out our comprehensive guide that helps you celebrate Love Day outside the box!
The odds-on favorite follows the legend of a priest named Valentine who lived and served in Rome around 300 AD, who defied a âno marriageâ edict from Emperor Claudius II (on the assumption that single men made better soldiers than married ones) and was martyred for daring to keep wedded blush alive in third century Rome.
The moral of this tale â as far as we here at Woodlands Online can determine â is that you need to stay fit and healthy enough to avoid any irate emperors wanting to behead you. To this end, we would like to suggest you join The Woodlands Townshipâs inaugural Valentine’s Day Pickleball Social and King’s Court Tournament on February 14 from 9:00 AM to 12 noon at The Bear Branch Recreation Center and Multi-Use Court. For only $10 a person, you can join a team and enjoy the pounding pleasure of pickleball (which is a lot like racquetball) while socializing with other exercise- and competitive-minded folk. Learn more here!
Like the uncertainty of whose Valentine was the original, the origins of the actual day of celebration are also murky. It probably isnât a coincidence that a pre-Christian fertility holiday named Lupercalia â honoring the Roman god of agriculture â was celebrated in mid-February and disappeared right around the same time that Pope Gelasius decreed in the 5th century that February 14 would be known as St. Valentineâs Day. But it wasnât until nearly a thousand years later â in the Middle Ages â that this day truly got equated to love. English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in 1375 AD specified the date as a day reserved for love in his poem with the modern translation of âParliament of Fools,â and forty years later the oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.
From this aspect of the history of Valentineâs Day, we here at Woodlands Online have figured out that all the countries involved â Italy, England, and France â all have restaurants that serve food, so we feel it proper to encourage you to hit one of our favorite local restaurants that are offering Valentine specials, including Fieldingâs Local Kitchen & Bar, Landryâs Seafood Restaurant, and The Woodlands Resort â Curio Collection by Hilton.
By the 18th century, Valentineâs Day was firmly established as a day to let your loved ones know they were, well, loved. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, the âMother of the Valentineâ made her appearance in the guise of
Esther A. Howland, who began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as âscrap.â Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, each year an estimated 145 million Valentineâs Day cards are sent in the U.S. (about a billion worldwide), making February 14 the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas).
Adding to this the fact that 35 million heart-shaped boxes of candy are bought each year this month, itâs obvious that the heart is the most recognized aspect of Valentineâs Day. We here at Woodlands Online figure that the best way to show healthy love is to promote a healthy heart. Which is why we encourage you to take this day to buy you and your loved one(s) a membership at The Woodlands Family YMCA, a vital part of South Montgomery County for over thirty five years. The YMCA is the leading provider of family-oriented fitness and recreation in this community and serves as a hub of community activity, providing physical, recreational, social and educational programs and services for all ages. The YMCA serves over 40,000 people annually. In a time of increasing family fragmentation, the YMCA is committed to enriching family life and strengthening the quality of life for those in our service area.
So, thatâs it for todayâs history lesson and trivia session. Whether youâre celebrating over the weekend or on the day itself, Woodlands Online has all you need to know with its annual Valentineâs Day Guide, available here.