Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Valentines Day!!

The origin of Valentine's Day 

The concept of romantic love is first recorded in 14th century Europe, particularly in England and France. Here it was believed that February 14 was the day that birds paired to mate.
During this time lovers often exchanged notes of love on this day, calling each other their 'Valentines'. As a medieval custom, the names of English maidens and bachelors were placed in a box and drawn in pairs. These couples were to exchange gifts, the girl became the man's 'valentine' and they were bound to each other for the year.

Cupidon by Bouguereau

In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mercury (messenger god). In the Greek version he was named Eros and seen as one of the primordial gods.

The most familiar version is found in Lucius Apuleius's Metamorphoses. When Cupid's mother Venus became jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so beloved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world. When Cupid saw Psyche, however, he was so overcome by her beauty that he fell in love with her himself.

Following that, Cupid visited Psyche every night while she slept. Speaking to her so that she could not see him, he told her never to try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas, or Hedone, (meaning pleasure) and Psyche became a goddess. Her name "Psyche" means "soul."

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