Monday, February 13, 2023

February- The Month of Traditions and Thoughts of Love

by Kimberly Grist 

Although our shortest month, February, also known as the month of love, is packed with events and rich with history.

Spring Where Are You?

As German settlers migrated to the United States in the 19th century, they brought with them the skill of predicting the weather based on bears' and badgers' hibernation habits. After settling, they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in Pennsylvania. Woodchucks, aka groundhogs, are true hibernators and rely entirely on body fat to make it through the winter.
The Tradition of Groundhog Day In the late 1880s, a group of local hunters caught the attention of the editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit, Clymer H. Freas. He became so captivated by the local folklore he promoted Punxsutawney as the home of the now infamous weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Another forecasting groundhog, Gen. Beauregard Lee in my native state of Georgia, has predicted an early spring this year. One can only hope!

Test of Love 

The Apple Peel Love Test

Another tradition brought to us from Holland was the Apple Peel love test. According to legend, one must skin an apple all in one strip and throw it over your shoulder. When it falls to the ground, the initial of your intended will be revealed.

The Daisy Game

Originating in France during Medieval times, the game is played while plucking the petals from a flower and reciting:

He loves me, he loves me not...

Love Letters

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet, which was a personal declaration of her love for her future husband, was written between 1845 and 1846. Their courtship and marriage were carried out secretly because of her father's disapproval.

Handmade valentines were popular up until the 1850s when mass-produced cards began to be produced. The popularity of the card continued to grow, and as the dark years of the Civil War were ending, the New York City Post reported more than 66,000 Valentines mailed in 1965.
A Tradition Long Past (Thank Goodness)

Perhaps not as well known today, but during the Victorian era, another type of card known as "vinegar valentines," sometimes called penny dreadful, became popular.

In stark contrast to the handmade version or carefully penned love note, the "vinegar valentines" were more of an anti-valentine card and contained insults and a comic illustration.
They were also sent anonymously. I'm thankful these are no longer popular, what about you?

Coming Soon- March 1, 2023

Carrie Dixon’s impulsive nature has cost her a teaching position leaving her destitute and seeking the help of a matchmaker. She believes there’s a happily ever after within reach for everyone, so casting her past failures aside, she requests a match with someone who embraces adventure and will be enthusiastic about building a romantic relationship.

Gabe Russell, former solider and regimented rancher, isn’t looking for love. Instead, he needs a cook, housekeeper, and babysitter for his four younger siblings. His request to the matchmaker includes “… a no-nonsense, hard-working woman who knows the importance of following a schedule.

Fans of historical romance set in the late 19th -century will enjoy stories combining, History, Humor, and Romance, emphasizing Faith, Friends, and Good, Clean Fun.

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  1. Thank you for posting today. I enjoyed your selections of February trivia. I found the "vinegar valentines" humorous but since I would hate to ever get one, I'm with you that I'm glad they went out of favor. Although, I heard something in our local news recently about a way to "memorialize" scorned lovers. If I find it again, I'll add a comment about it.

  2. I hope you can find the article. I would l love to learn more.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. San Antonio Zoo was the story I heard. Google "name a cockroach after your ex". I have seen other things like this in the past, but this was the one highlighted this year.

    3. Oh my goodness, that would be the ultimate revenge. ha-ha