We're coming up on that time that some of us love and some of us hate. And some of us love to hate -- Valentine's Day.
No matter how you feel about it, it is a holiday that is surrounded by much lore. I spent some time hunting around that treasure trove that is the Internet, searching for interesting nuggets to share. Here are 5 I particularly liked:
Starting out with what's really important -- thank you, Richard Cadbury! He introduced the first Valentine chocolates in the late 1800s. Of course, if you're like me, why wait until Valentine's Day?
Who gets Valentine's Day cards? Moms, spouses, teachers, sweethearts and ... pets! Is your pet your Valentine?
The expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve" comes from the Middle Ages. Young men would draw the names of young women to learn who would be their Valentine. They would wear that name pinned to their sleeve for a week.
A kiss on Valentine's Day is thought to bring good luck all year. Yes, I'm positive that includes smooching your pets.
I save this for last because I found it so fascinating: tradition says that the first bird a woman sees on Valentine's Day will tell her the kind of man she is to marry. A blackbird means a clergyman, a robin a sailor. A goldfinch means you will marry a rich man and a sparrow means you will marry a farmer. A bluebird means a happy man will be your husband and a dove means a good man. If you see a woodpecker, that means you will not marry.
No word on my fave bird, the Barn Swallow.
May your Valentine's Day include lots of love, chocolate, kisses and flocks of birds!