What did you do for St. Valentine’s day? Far from it’s “christian” name, the festival is a mixture of spring-time fertility rituals originating in the ancient pagan festival of Lupercalia – little overtly christian about any of this.
Of course the French claim the first Valentine card – allegedly sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, from the tower of London following his capture at the battle of Agincourt.
An interesting French custom follwed the usual sort of lottery for a partner. However, if the process of pairing up went wrong and the man didn’t like the girl he ended up with, then he could desert her, and she could burn his image on a bonfire and call him names. This fascinating tradition was banned as it led to too much unpleasantness.
Ludiver, the planetarium at Tonneville celebrated St. Valentine among the stars, with a special viewing incorporating the romantic music of the spheres, and the stories of lovers associated with the stars and the names of stars. Ludiver is open all year round, and well worth a visit at any time for anybody interested in astronomy and the natural world.
Bob and Marjory