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The Legend of St. Valentine

Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday (after Christmas), with approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged. Where did the tradition start and do we send candy, flowers, gifts, and cards to our loved ones on this day? Who was St. Valentine and how did he become associated with the traces of Christian and ancient Roman Tradition?

Although the truth behind the Valentine legend is murky at best, the stories emphasize his appeal as a sympatric, heroic and –most importantly- romantic figure. By the Middle ages Valentine would be come on of the most popular saints in England and France. There are three different saints named Valentine all of whom were martyred.

One legend states that when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, Valentine preformed secret marriages and when discovered was put to death. Another is that Valentine was put to death for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. Another was that Valentine while being imprisoned fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and before being put to death send her a card signed “From your Valentine”.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death-which probably occurred around A.D. 270, others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.

Written Valentine’s did not appear until after 1400.The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt.

Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700’s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America.

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The color red is often associated with things like love, energy, fire and passion; it’s also great for decorating a room, it can look good with unexpected colors.

Some favorite colors to pair with red are turquoise, blues and greens, which some people may associate with Christmas, but when you actually use it in a room it doesn’t come off that way. During the Christmas season, it might fit perfect with your décor, but really in everyday life it’s just a great color combination.

The color Red mixes well with almost any color scheme, but how do you decorate with red without going overboard? Red can go everywhere from cheery and happy to angry and aggressive. That’s what you’ve got to keep in mind when using red in a room.

When is too much too much and when is it not enough. Use red as an accent color in everything from artwork, lighting and candles to pillows, walls and an area rug, especially Oriental, is a great way to bring in the color regardless of your decor.

When you have accents of red it draws attention to other things you might not even notice in the room, the whole idea is to entice, intrigue (and) invite without clubbing you over the head and dragging you in. Try adding a single piece of red artwork to your space.

In 1930, Emily Post wrote, “In its brightest tones, red is the most brilliant, stimulating, and approaching of all the colors.” But she went on to say that “an unexpected encounter with much of it might be something like meeting an uncaged lion roaming through the house.” A little bit goes a long way.

Red is a color that needs to be well-thought-out, as well as the shade itself. Choose Your Style to Find the Right Red Contemporary design incorporates neutral elements with pops of bold color, often red.

On the door: Bold, bright red Inside: Bright red shades in a pillow, rug or throw Modern design calls for all kinds of reds: from primary hues to classic shades with burgundy or brown undertones.

On the door: Any red you love that makes a statement. Inside: Consider injecting red through a painting or piece of art. Traditional design stays away from primary reds and instead involves burgundy or black tones.

On the door: A deep, rich red Inside: Decorate with Oriental rugs injected with darker reds. Transitional design relies on a neutral palette, a perfect canvas for pops of red.

On the door: Match this red to hues you use inside the home, or skip the red door entirely to keep a more neutral theme.

Inside: Choose a softer and more indirect approach like a red lamp or piece of art.

Country reds are chalkier and softer: Think barn or scarlet reds. Choose reds with pinkish and purplish hues, like the color of a ripening apple.

On the door: Barn red Inside: Accessorize with country reds in knickknacks and fabrics.

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