Feliz Año Nuevo! Bonne Année! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar! Xin Nian Yu Kuai!
One of the reasons I enjoy living in London is that you can never ever get bored here. We literally get front row seats to the many delights that take place here – from award shows and plays to parades and sporting events. It is no wonder London is one of the most visited cities in the world. My favorite London tradition is the annual fireworks display in central London. All around, people are counting down in a myriad of different languages as we all bid au revoir to the departing year.
At this time of my life – I am filled with peace, bliss, hope, and faith. I am grateful for my entire family and friends for sticking by me through thick and thin. I am looking forward to embarking on a glorious new journey with every one of you.
Happy New Year, everyone! A special Happy New Year’s hug to all of my loyal readers. Your sparkling spirit tells me that 2014 is going to be a marvelous year!
And a very affectionate New Year’s hug and kiss to my mother and sisters for being so selfless, patient, and loving. I love you four so very much.
Wishing you a healthy and blessed New Year.
Love, good health, and blessings to you all.
This Valentine’s Day, you may find yourself sharing a romantic dinner with your loved one. The moon and stars gazing upon you both (or maybe not if you live in England); it is a perfect romantic setting any other day of the week, but this is February 14th. Both men and women try harder to be extra sentimental on Valentine’s Day.
The ancient Romans would completely disapprove of this method of celebration. After all, you must give thanks to the pagan Romans for giving us the real origins of Valentine’s Day.
Do you know how they celebrated this “romance” holiday? Close your eyes and picture naked Roman men chasing after women – and whipping them with raw goat and dog skins. From February 13 – 15, the Romans celebrated Valentine’s Day in this fashion during the feast of Lupercalia – also known as the Wolf Festival.
According to tradition, the festival turned into a fertility rite celebration because of a female wolf who allowed Roman twins, Romulus and Remus, to suck on her nipples. The female wolf’s brothers officiated the festival asking for animal sacrifices of two goats and a dog. Why the whipping? The women believed getting whipped promoted fertility.
We must give Roman Emperor Claudius II credit for unwittingly giving us the name: Valentine’s Day. He killed two guys named Valentine on February 14 of different years in the 3rd century. The Catholic Church commemorated their death by naming the celebration Valentine’s Day.
Enter Pope Gelasius I
In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I got fed up with the Roman’s sinful festival and banned it altogether. However, he did not completely ban it. He merely combined the Catholic version of St. Valentine’s Day with the Roman’s Lupercalia. The bloody sacrifices stopped, but the whole fertility notion continued.
Apart from legend, the first affiliation between romance and February 14th goes back to Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. Valentine’s Day was a hit throughout Great Britain and Europe. The holiday ultimately hit American soil, and thanks to Hallmark Cards in 1913, Valentine’s Day has skyrocketed in the money making department.
So there you have it. The hellish beginnings of Valentine’s Day in a nutshell.
Happy New Year
This time of the year also marks our one year anniversary! Happy New Year to all of you. 2013 is the year of rebirth. Every one us has an opportunity to start fresh today. Let me share one of my favourite quotes by Henry Ward Beecher:
Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page.
Our lives are books, and it is up to us to make those 365 pages a fantastic and inspiring read. Wishing you all a healthy, successful, and blessed 2013.
Vivien Veil xoxo