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St Valentine's Day History

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Hello, my dear friends!

It’s here again, the day when boys and girls, husbands and wives, sweethearts and lovers, friends and neighbours and even the office staff will exchange greetings of affection, undying love or satirical comment. And now I’m going to tell you about St Valentine’s Day History.

St Valentine’s Day, February 14, has been a customary day for choosing sweethearts and exchanging love-tokens from time immemorial.

The method of choosing sweethearts on St Valentine’s Day varied in different times and places. It could be a serious matter, leading to marriage, or it could be a kind of game. Countless generations of young people have acknowledged St Valentine as the friend and patron of lovers.

The Legend of how St Valentine’s Day began 

St Valentine lived in Rome during the third century. At that time Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. A lot of people didn’t like him.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. But many men just didn’t want to fight in wars and did not want to leave their wives and children. This made Claudius furious and he had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So, he made a law against marrying. Young people thought his new law was cruel and preposterous.

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A kindly priest called Valentine was not going to support it and kept on performing marriage ceremonies secretly. Can you imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and priest? They would whisper the words of the ceremony, lending an ear to the steps of soldiers.

One night they did hear footsteps. Thanks goodness the newly married couple managed to escape in time but, unfortunately, Valentine was caught and thrown into the jail.

Even in prison Valentine showed his love for everyone and wonderful things happened. A lot of young people came to the jail to visit him because they wanted him to know that they believed in love, too.

One of these people was his jailer’s daughter. A young girl was blind. Her father allowed her to visit Valentine in his cell and she helped him to keep his spirits up. And by a miracle, Valentine restored her sight. On the day he was to die, on February 14, 269 A.D., he left her a little note thanking her for friendship and loyalty. It was signed “From your Valentine.”

It is believed that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day.

The Old Tradition of Lupercalia

Now February 14 fell in the midst of a Roman festival called Lupercalia. In the early days of Rome, fierce wolves roamed the woods nearby. The Romans called upon one of their gods Lupercus to keep the wolves away.

One of the customs of the young people on that day was name-drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man drew a slip. The girl whose name was chosen was to be his sweetheart for the year.

When Christianity became the religion of Rome, this joyous day was changed to St Valentine’s Day in honor of the saint who gave his life to help lovers.

There are lots of legends about how Valentine’s Day started but no one knows for sure whether any of them are true.

Vocabulary

affection – любовь, привязанность

undying love – вечная любовь

token – подарок (небольшой) на память

from time immemorial – с незапамятных времен

countless – бесчисленный

patron – покровитель

to exchange – обмениваться

to volunteer – добровольно вступать в армию

to make smb furious – приводить кого-либо в ярость (бешенство)

cruel – жестокий

preposterous – абсурдный

to marry – женить (ся)

marriage – замужество, женитьба, бракосочетание

do not mind doING smth – не возражать против выполнения какого-либо действия

bride –  невеста

groom – жених

priest – священник

to lend an ear to smth – прислушиваться к чему-то

to escape – убегать, исчезать

jail = prison – тюрьма

cell – клетка, тюремная камера

loyalty – верность, преданность

Thanks goodness – Слава Богу!

to be blind – быть слепым

to restore one’s sight – вернуть зрение

to keep one’s spirits up – поднимать настроение

to keep on doING smth – продолжать выполнять какое-либо действие

by a miracle – чудом

in honor of somebody –  в честь кого-то

Lupercalia [ˏlu:pə´keiliə] – луперкалии (праздник в честь бога Луперка, покровителя стад в Древнем Риме)

Music Time !

Listen to this audiofile:

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Still loving you…

( Scorpions )

Time, it needs time

To win back your love again.

I will be there, I will be there.

Love, only love

Can bring back your love someday.

I will be there, I will be there.

 

Fight, babe, I'll fight

To win back your love again.

I will be there, I will be there.

Love, only love

Can break down the walls someday.

I will be there, I will be there.

 

If we'd go again

All the way from the start,

I would try to change

The things that killed our love.

Your pride has build a wall, so strong

That I can't get through.

Is there really no chance

To start once again?

I'm loving you.

 

Try, baby try

To trust in my love again.

I will be there, I will be there.

Love, your love

Just shouldn't be thrown away.

I will be there, I will be there.

 

If we'd go again

All the way from the start,

I would try to change

The things that killed our love.

Your pride has build a wall, so strong

That I can't get through.

Is there really no chance

To start once again?

 

If we'd go again

All the way from the start,

I would try to change

The things that killed our love.

Yes I've hurt your pride, and I know

What you've been through.

You should give me a chance

This can't be the end.

I'm still loving you.

I'm still loving you, I need your love.

I'm still loving you. Still loving you, baby...

I wish you love and mutual understanding with your friends and family.

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The donation box is in the right-side bar.

Thank you for reading me!

 

 

 

 

 

первая рождественская открытка

Christmas Cards

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Do you know how Christmas cards developed through the years? Who invented the first Christmas card?

Well, every year a lot of people all over the world send and receive Christmas cards. Though the tradition of exchanging cards at Christmas is 170 years old, the idea of greeting cards goes back to ancient Egypt when people gave each other symbolic gifts such as inscribed scarabs to celebrate the New Year. The Romans, for example, exchanged lamps with the inscription “May the New Year be happy and lucky for you”.

In Europe in the 15th century wood engravers produced special prints which were inscribed with different legends wishing a Happy New Year. They were the prototypes of the modern Christmas cards. Later on in the 18th and early 19th centuries rich people, especially merchants, started sending printed greetings to their friends but they were not true Christmas cards.

scarab [´skærəb] – украшение в виде скарабея у древних египтян

engraver [in´ɡreivə] – гравёр

merchant [´mɜ:tʃ(ə)nt] – купец, торговец

inscription [in´skripʃ(ə)n] – надпись

to inscribe [in´skraib] – вписывать, надписывать

to exchange [eks´tʃeinʤ] – обменивать, меняться

prototype [´prəutətaip] – прототип, прообраз, аналог

The history of the first Christmas card

The first commercial Christmas card was produced in Britain in 1843 by Henry Cole, a founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Sir Henry asked his friend John Calcott Horsley,  who was an artist, to create a Christmas card. The idea was to encourage people to help those in need. The card was divided into three parts by poles and vines. On the left and on the right sides of it there were scenes of Christmas charity while the centre part depicted a happy family, including a child sipping wine. The words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You” were scrawled in front of the card. Space was left at the top for writing the name of the recipient and at the bottom for writing the name of the sender. In spite of the fact that there was a lot of criticism as it was not socially correct for a child to drink alcohol, the Christmas card was a hit.

первая рождественская открытка

The first Christmas card

Throughout the Victorian period most of the cards tended to be New Year cards rather than Christmas cards. In 1862 Charles Goodal created cards with the words “A Merry Christmas” written on them and soon religious –themed cards followed. Until 1815 Americans imported the cards from England. Later that year Louis Prang opened his own shop to print off Christmas cards. By the year 1881 he had sold nearly 30 million cards!

Since then cards have progressed by leaps and bounds. They came in many different shapes such as bells, animals and stars. Satin and silk were often used to make Christmas cards more elegant. But the all-time favourites were pop-ups, tab-cards and sound-cards. At present Christmas cards are being produced not only for profit. Charities often sell their own Christmas cards to raise money at Christmas.

Amazing Facts

  • Victorian Christmas cards often showed a robin delivering Christmas mail that’s why postmen in Victorian England were popularly called “robins” because their uniforms were red.
  • In the UK an estimated £50 million is raised by Christmas cards for charities each year.
  • One of the Sir Henry Cole’s first Christmas cards, which he sent to his grandmother was sold at auction for $35,800 (£22,500) in 2001.
  • 45% of all cards sent are Christmas cards but only 15% are bought by men.
  • 1,5 billion Christmas cards are sent in the USA each year.
  • Many Americans try to send Christmas cards and presents from Bethlehem, Santa Claus and Christmas. Bethlehem is in Connecticut, Santa Claus is in Indiana and Christmas is in Florida.
  • In 1988 the world-famous singer Madonna sent out Christmas cards to her friends. It was a picture of herself and her daughter, just like “Madonna and child”.
  • Each year in Finland Santa receives 600,000 cards.

This videocard I have created for you, dear readers!

If you like it, you may share it with your friends and relatives.

 

 

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