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Superstitions: Valentines/Love

12th Feb 2021

Superstitions - Valentines
Valentine's Heart

If a woman wanted to know who her future spouse would be, there were a number of rituals she could carry out:

  • On St. Valentine’s Eve she could visit a graveyard at midnight, chanting special charms she knew whilst running around the church twelve times! She should then go to sleep with a sprig of rosemary under her pillow, and the face of her husband-to-be would appear…
  • On Valentine’s Day itself a woman should let her eyes gaze to the sky, until she saw a bird or animal flying over, the type of bird would indicate certain things about the union:

A robin, would likely mean she would marry a policeman or sailor

A sparrow, would mean her partner would be poor but their marriage would be happy

A goldfinch, would bring a union with a wealthy man

A bat, would mean she would marry a sportsman

A flock of doves would be a great sign of a peaceful and happy marriage

  • A red rose has long held significance for Valentine’s Day, but did you know that the type and how many you send has significance? A rosebud that has not yet bloomed into a full flower represents youth, beauty and an innocent heart. If a single red rosebud is presented then it stands for loveliness and purity. If love is the desired message then either a single red rose in bloom or a dozen red roses in bloom should be sent.

If you do not want to send red roses, then violets would be a great alternative as they have long been associated with Valentine’s and their meaning is fidelity.

  • If a man was pursuing a number of women and wished to know who would be his future bride, then he could recite their names in turn whilst twisting the stem of an apple. The name he spoke at the point the apple broke away from the stem would belong to his future sweetheart.

Other superstitions for women were seeing a squirrel on Valentine’s Day that so say meant her future husband would hoard their money! Finding a man’s glove would bring excitement, believing if they could find the man it belonged to they would marry…Along a similar line, if all else had failed a women could drop a handkerchief or glove in front of a potential suitor in the hope that they would pick it up and then notice her.

Ref: The Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, by Deborah Murrell

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