The history of Valentine's Day is obscure and is associated with various legends. The roots of Valentine’s Day are in an ancient Roman fertility celebration. Pope Gelasius turned this pagan festival into a Christian feast day around 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day, to honor one of the three early Christian saints whose names were "St. Valentine”.
One legend has it that Valentine, who was in prison, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed "from your Valentine." The most likely story surrounding St. Valentine is one focused on Christian love rather than passionate love: he was apparently martyred on February 14th for refusing to renounce his religion.
In the 14th century this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. It was the poet, Chaucer, who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance.
By the 18th century, gift giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England, a custom that eventually spread to the American colonies. By the 1850s, the tradition of giving gifts, typically chocolates or jewelry, became widespread in the United States.
***NOTE: For more detailed information, please see the comment below by Marie. There are apparently many different stories related to Valentine's Day and the saint the holiday it is named for. I appreciate Marie taking the time to write and I have adjusted my errors in language above. I took my information from a variety of online sources and it is a quick synopsis of what I found after researching the holiday.
(It's a brand new year - it seems I had just gotten used to saying and writing 2015 when 2016 open it's doors to us. I new year always brings a great opportunity to celebrate the old and welcome whatever is new in our lives.
2015 was a great year for me personally and for my business. I so appreciate everyone who is on this journey with me and especially those who support my business by thinking of me when they have a gift to buy or need something special for themselves - you know who you are! THANK YOU!!
This new year, unlike new years in the past, I have so many new jewelry collections in my head that it's hard to sort out what to work on first. I have finally narrowed it down to a collection coming out this March, called "Little Luxuries", which should give you a very hint to what that collection is all about! I am well into production on this collection and am very excited about how it is coming together.
In the fall I will have a collection out that will be perfect for cooler weather and gift buying. The collection is, as yet, unnamed but I can tell you that it will be a wonderful departure from what Laura Teague Jewelry is known for while, at the same time, maintaining the same contemporary styling with ancient influences and flawless execution. This collection is still in the development stage - lots more info to come and photos once I go into production.
Finally, in the spring 2017, another new collection is already on the books - very early in development of this collection but it is already beginning to take shape. This, too, may be somewhat of a departure from what you are used to seeing from my studio but I think you will love it. Hint: the "theme" of the collection is "living a minimalist life".
Along with all that, both Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day are right around the corner! A perfect beginning to a new year! (Did you see those little sterling silver crown earrings with the freshwater pearl? Aren't those the cutest Mardi Gras earrings ever?)
This year will be what you make it so make it a good one! Happy New Year!
I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!