In the High Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer, called the father of English literature, wrote a poem called Parliament of Foules (Assembly of Fowls) (c.1393).
It it he described how fowls, birds, chose their mates in mid-February:
"For this was Saint Valentine's day, when every bird of every kind that men can imagine comes to this place to choose his mate."
He made another mention in the final chapter of The Cantebury Tales:
"The book of the Duchesse; the book of Seint Valentynes day of the Parlement of Briddes (Birds)."
The association of birds with fidelity in marital love came about because 90 percent of bird species are monogamous.
Many bird species mate for life, such as varieties of:
After elaborate courtships, depending on their species, these birds remain together until one partner dies.
Birds that mate for life have offspring that require more extensive care and instruction from parents.
They are able to mate earlier in the season which allows their young more time to develop before the fall and winter seasons of long migrations or harsh winter weather.
Hope you've found the origin of Valentine's Day as interesting as I did! And I love the list of birds that mate for life and their relation to Valentine's Day.
Enjoy the cards, candy, and flowers, and send some. Valentine's Day marks a bright spot like the sun rising in an otherwise cold, darker winter season. It is a great opportunity to show our love to others.
Google American Minute by Bill Federer if you'd like to sign up for his newsletter. He sends out great historical information.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Elva Cobb Martin is 2020 President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate ofAnderson University and Erskine College. She has three inspirational novels published, Summer of Deception,a contemporary romantic suspense, and two historical romances, In a Pirate’s Debt, and Marisol, Book 1 in a new Charleston Brides series for Wild Heart Books.All three novels have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the believer's authority in Christ.Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin; and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI