Posted by BCM on Sunday, January 29, 2017 Under: Seasons
The hopeless romantics out there will have only one thing on their mind this month.
Valentine’s Day is on 14th February and they’ll be hatching plans to express undying love for their significant other.
A good start would be twelve red roses, the favourite flower of Venus, the goddess of Love, followed maybe by a candle-lit dinner.
A card is important. Chocolates are a must.
A full wallet will get you a long way too. Apparently, we lovesick Brits spend around £1.6 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts and treats.
As a card-giving event, it’s second only to Christmas. That’s big business by any standards.
According to research conducted by Barclaycard, men on average spend around £28 on Valentine Day celebrations. Women get away a lot more lightly, it seems, with an expected spend of about £19.
More curious is that 3% of pet owners will give Valentine Day’s gifts to their cats and dogs!
All’s fair in love and war, you might say.
But where did all this madness come from?
The origins of St Valentine’s Day are obscure. The Romans used to celebrate the festival of Lupercalia in the middle of February. Definitely not for the squeamish, this festival was a riotous affair involving the gory sacrifice of goats and a dog.
The officiating Priests cut thongs from the dead animals’ skins and ran through the streets striking any woman that came near them. This, allegedly, made them fertile.
Around 500 AD, the Pope of the day recast this pagan fertility rite as the Christian feast day of St Valentine. But which Valentine he intended to honour remains a mystery, as there were several.
One of the first written texts associating romance with St Valentine’s Day was a poem by the English poet Chaucer in the 1300s. Later on, Shakespeare was pretty prolific in that department too.
None of this, of course, detracts from what the day has become today: a harmless, if expensive, diversion to lighten the darkness of mid-winter and reignite that spark for life briefly suppressed by the long cold nights.
It’s hard to imagine a Valentine’s Day without chocolate in some form or another.
19th century doctors may well have prescribed chocolate to anyone pining for lost love, but it took the business acumen of one Richard Cadbury in the 1840’s to capitalise on the card and gift-giving trend with his elaborate heart shaped boxes of chocolates.
Chocolate is a prime ingredient in many of the home baked treats to be found at the Balham Country Market, such as Chocolate and Beetroot Cake. If you really want to set pulses racing, you can’t go wrong with their Millionaire Shortbread. Its layers of buttery shortbread and caramel topped with chocolate are enough to melt the hardest of hearts.
You’ll also find a seductive selection of home made crafts and cards to go with it.
Who could possibly resist you after that?
In : Seasons
Tags: february valentine chocolate