Traditions in france for valentine’s day celebration
There was an old custom called the "drawing for love" in to celebrate valentine'day. Today valentine’s Day is celebrated by exchanging chocolate, flowers, cards and gifts.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, stores are flooded with candy hearts, chocolates and stuffed animals. With a reputation as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, it’s little wonder France has long celebrated Valentine’s Day as a day for lovers. Another traditional Valentine’s Day event in France was called loterie d’amour, or “drawing for love.” The French like to think of themselves as the most romantic people in the world, and it’s often claimed on Gallic shores that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his life while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.Today card giving is not as popular as it used to be. Instead, the French have taken to their love for their own cuisine; restaurants famously do a roaring trade on February 14, a day also considered the best time for a marriage proposal.
Men and women would fill houses that faced one another, and then take turns calling out to one another and pairing off. Men who weren’t satisfied with their match could simply leave a woman for another, and the women left unmatched gathered afterward for a bonfire. Valentine’s Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over France. It sometimes becomes hard to believe how grandly the natives celebrate the occasion. Preparations start months ahead and people of all age groups take equal participation in the event. In addition to the regular Valentine’s Day observations, France has its own unique traditions of celebrating the occasion. Read on to explore them in detail.
History of French Valentine’s Day
There are two reasons why many people link Valentine’s Day with France. One is that it was commonly known, in both England and France, that birds and other animals paired off and mated ‘in the middle of February’. Coincidence? Most likely not, since February 14 is exactly the middle of February. It is thought that people began celebrating this as the special day for lovers because of this association with ‘love’ in nature.
The origin of the Valentine’s Day is believed to have a strong connection with France. All over France and England, there was a popular notion that the members of the avian species start the process of mating around the middle of the second month of the year. It was for this very reason that lovers all over the region started exchanging romantic notes around this time, as they began to consider it as an auspicious period. Gradually, this led to the emergence of Valentine’s Day, which eventually spread to the rest of the world. It was in France only, somewhere during the 14th and the 15th centuries, that poets and litterateurs created a romantic impression of the event.
Another important facet of the festival that connects it to this enchanting country is that Valentine’s Day cards are said to have evolved from this area. History has it that Charles, the young Duke of Orleans wrote the very first Valentine’s Day card. During the Battle of Agincourt, in the year 1415, the Duke was captured by the enemies and during this time, he wrote a beautiful poem or ‘Valentine’ for his beloved. It is said that this took place when the Duke was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. At present, the festival is celebrated with much pomp and glory all over France and people of all age groups take equal participation in the events. Parties are organized, get-togethers are arranged and friends and family catch up to spend some quality time together.
Valentine’s Day Celebration in France Today
Today, the French celebrate Valentine’s Day like people in many other countries by exchanging cards, small gifts, and words of affection. Fresh flowers are also a popular item to send or receive on this holiday.It is said that the first modern Valentine’s Day card was sent by a Frenchmen. Supposedly, Charles the Duke of Orleans sent the first modern Valentine’s Day card, along with poems and other love letters, to his wife from his cell in the Tower of London after being captured by the British at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Valentine’s Day is a day meant to celebrate the affections among people in various kinds of relationships. Individual cultures have unique ways of commemorating the day and cherishing the relationships that hold them together. Cards, flowers and other tokens of love are exchanged between partners and commitments of love are made by the young. A very unique custom that was observed by the natives and residents of the area is the ‘drawing for’ custom. The young, the unmarried and also the aged would move from house to house, calling across from one window to the other and then pair off with the partners that they chose. In case, the young man lacked interest in his valentine, he was free to desert and leave her. Later on, a bonfire was lit by the womenfolk and the ladies would burn the images of their ungrateful lovers, hurling abuses at them at the same time. This custom was later abandoned, as it involved unpleasantness and mockery. The government finally passed down a decree officially banning down the observation of this custom.