Valentine's Day, a favorite time worth its weight in X's and O's

NEIGHBORS

February 14, 1994|By CINDY PARR

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

This is one of my favorite holidays, because it is especially set aside to celebrate people who are loved and people in love.

There are many things I find heartwarming about this special day, among them the flowers, "sweet" gifts and homemade cards I receive from my children.

Their words of love mean so much.

And of course, all those O's and X's (hugs and kisses) they use on their cards are worth their weight in gold.

For my husband and me, Valentine's Day is an automatic night out. We always make sure we have something planned where we can spend "grown-up" time together.

Last week, while anticipating the arrival of Valentine's Day, I found myself wondering about the origin of this day of hearts.

It seems that today got its start as the celebration of two Christian martyrs named Valentine.

According to the book, "Chase's Annual Events," Valentine's Day commenced in 269 A.D., when Valentine, a priest and physician, suffered a grueling death during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Valentine was beaten and beheaded in Rome.

Later, another Valentine, known as Bishop Terni, also was said to have been beheaded in Rome.

Chase's says history and legends can be contradictory. For example, the book also suggests that Valentine's Day could have evolved from the anniversary of an ancient Roman fertility festival.

What about that old legend that says Valentine's Day was a day when birds chose their mates?

And, do you wonder how those symbolic Valentine's Day gifts -- flowers, cards and candy -- originated?

For centuries the red rose has been the accepted flower of romance. That would explain the traditional dozen red roses.

Sweets for the sweet, so they say.

If your loved one is so sugary, then this would justify giving that chocolate-filled red heart.

Of course, we all know that a gift is not complete unless it is accompanied by a card that says "I love you" better than we could say it ourselves.

To those who say Valentine's Day is just another day of the week, I say, "Phooey."

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Here are some other events that are acknowledged today: Ferris Wheel Day, First Presidential Photograph Anniversary, Race Relations Day and Read to Your Child Day.

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Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m., a concert featuring bluesman K. )) J. James will be held at Carroll Community College.

The concert is sponsored by the College's Office of Student Life in celebration of Black History Month.

K. J. James, formerly Dr. Blue, is a national recording artist who is known for his slide guitar and unique blues stylings.

He received rave reviews in the United States, Canada and Europe on his recent releases, "A Dr. Blue Injection" and "Salt City Blues."

The Klages Agency Inc. in Westminster represents Mr. James, who also is scheduled to appear at Howard Community College, Prince George's Community College, University of Baltimore and Frostburg State University.

Admission to the concert is free. Information: 876-9600 or 876-6315.

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If these cold winter months are wreaking havoc with your grade-schooler's weekend social life, listen up.

The Westminster City Recreation Department is sponsoring an open gym from noon to 2 p.m. each Saturday this month and next.

The program is at the Longwell Municipal Center, and is open to children in grades one through five for $2 per child.

Table and video games, plus such indoor group activities as dodge ball and pillow polo, are offered.

Plenty of supervision is provided.

Information: 848-6962.

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