Up & Coming Weekly

February 07, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 11 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 8 - 14, 2023 UCW 11 Valentine's Day is a bright light in the middle of the winter . Come February 14, sweethearts celebrate their love and affec- tion for one another on this day devoted to happy couples. e origin of Valentine's Day has generated much specula- tion over the years. Most early accounts do not point to heart- shaped boxes filled with choco- lates. Rather, a few distinctive tales may paint the picture of early Valentine's Day, and they have nothing to do with stuffed ani- mals or romantic dinners. One of the earliest records of the term Valentine's Day is traced to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was a fertility festival. is annual event held on February 15 included animal sacrifices and priests called the Luperci who would take pieces of animal hide and touch it to the foreheads of women in the hopes it would make them more fertile. Fortunately for the squeamish (and the sacrificial animals), Pope Gelasius I ended Luper- calia and replaced it with St. Valentine's Day by the end of the fifth century. Two or three St. Valentines? Most people attribute the origins of Valentine's Day to the holi- day's namesake, St. Valentine. But it seems that Valentine was the surname of a few different individuals. According to History.com, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One Valentine was a priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, who decided that single men made better sol- diers than those with families or wives. Claudius outlawed marriage for young men. Valen- tine disagreed with the decree and would perform marriages in secret. Others believe it was St. Valen- tine of Terni, a bishop beheaded by Claudius II outside of Rome, who was the true namesake. Yet another Valentine may have been jailed and fell in love with a jailer's daughter while in prison. He portedly wrote to her, beginning the first Valentine card or letter tradition. Other stories say the impris- oned Valentine actually was writing to a blind woman he purportedly healed, and signed the note "from your Valentine." It is hard to know who is who in regard to the name Valentine, as the stories and the people be- hind them are used interchange- ably. Some historians believe they actually are the same person rather than several Valentines, while others insist there were multiple martyred individuals. However you slice it, the defiant actions of one or more people named "Valentine" set the course for centuries of romance to follow. Accounts vary on origins of Valentine's Day a STAFF REPORT FEATURE February 14 is a day dedicated to love. And for couples who are pondering their futures together, Valentine's Day may seem tailor- made for wedding proposals. According to a survey of 1,000 married adults by James Allen, an online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer, people really love getting engaged on Valen- tine's Day. Forty-three percent of Millen- nials report favoring Valentine's Day for proposals — whether they're doing the asking or being asked. ere are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether or not to pop the ques- tion on Valentine's Day. Here are some ideas for planning the proposal. Make it your own. Even if the proposal is taking place on one of the most popular days of the year to get engaged, inter- ject some personality into the occasion. Include important elements that are dear to the person to whom you are propos- ing, such as favorite flowers or a preferred restaurant. Restaurant reservations may be hard to come by on Valentine's Day, so you may want to select a more private meal at home or some- thing catered unless you want to share your proposal with a crowd. Visit possible locations in advance. ink about where you would like to propose and visit those areas at different times of the day. Timing a proposal dur- ing sunset with the rays creating a warm glow on a park bench or on the incoming tide can make it more magical. Adjust proposal area plans for busier crowds expected on Valentine's Day. Have the ring at the ready. Jewelry shops are in demand around Valentine's Day, so be sure to choose and have the ring sized well in advance of the pro- posal. is ensures the ring will be ready in time. If the ring will be a surprise, get hints before- hand to understand your loved one's design tastes. Consider bringing a friend along when shopping to offer support and advice. Use chocolate to your ad- vantage. Boxes of chocolate are ubiquitous on Valentine's Day. Nestle the ring inside of a box of truffles or another favorite con- fection and have the question "Will you marry me?" attached to the inside of the box. Hire a photographer. Work with a photographer to cap- ture the moment, whether it's a professional photographer or a friend enlisted for the task. is way you can be fully immersed in the moment as it unfolds, and then look back on the experi- ence from a different perspective when the photos are printed. Valentine's Day is a popular time for wedding proposals. With a little planning, the occa- sion can be even more special. Things to consider when planning your Valentine's Day proposal a STAFF REPORT

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