‘The day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries contain allusions to the practice,’ says Dr Burley.
Valentine’s Day is more about paper mâché and dark red paint than it is an expensive night out and diamond necklaces. It is about celebrating love through letters which is what reads in the history of the day.
‘The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. The custom of choosing and sending valentines has of late years fallen into comparative desuetude,’ says Dr Burley.
Contact details for Dr Henry Burley:
T (03) 9458 1872
E [email protected]