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Who was Saint Valentine?

Published: 7 Jan 14, 06:32pm  |  Author: DG Music

Romantic Heart from Love Seeds by epSos.de

Valentines Day is around the corner, but where did it all start and what's it all about? From saints and bridges, to lovers and padlocks we unlock the facts.

Book now for February 14th

For many of our hotel and corporate customers, February 14th is a major date in their calendar, so our bands and musicians get extra busy. Which means that if you're planning your own special Romantic Event on that special Romantic Day, it's probably a good idea to get hold of our team sooner rather than later to make your booking. Better early, than disappointed. To browse romantic live background music options now click here.

But why 14th Feb? And who was this Valentine bloke anyway?

Well it turns out that we're actually celebrating somebody's death, which when you think about it isn't very romantic - unless you're Romeo and Juliet.

The person in question was Valentinus, a Roman Saint who died in the late third century near an ancient bridge in Rome called the Ponte Milvio. Since the Middle Ages, Valentine has been associated with Courtly Love - and so the link to big red velvet hearts and over-priced flowers. And that's about it for St Valentine because not much else is known about him except his name. As for the bridge however, that's a different matter.  It's still there in Rome and still closely associated with expressions of undying lurve...

The Bridge, the Debauchery, the Lovers and the Padlocks!

Built in 206 BC, the Ponte Milvio has been a favourite spot with lovers since Roman Times. The Emperor Nero was said to visit there "for his debaucheries." And Tacitus, the first century Roman historian, reports that it was "famous for its Nocturnal Attractions." And even today some – hopefully not all – of these traditions continue, and some new ones have even been invented.


For example, couples attach padlocks inscribed with their names to a lamppost on the bridge and then throw the key over their shoulders into the River Tiber as a token of undying love. Far from being an ancient Roman custom, this ritual was invented by the Italian author Federico Moccia for his 2006 popular book and movie "I Want You". The book containing the story of the padlocks sold 1.1 million copies and soon it all rather got out of hand.

As with many passionate holiday romances and other affairs, reality set in and the lamppost collapsed with the weight of all the padlocks! So lovers began attaching padlocks all over the place: garbage bins, signposts, road signs - everywhere. As a result, the locals began complaining of vandalism, and after local politicians ordered that the padlocks be cut down, they were accused of being anti love!

"The Left is against lovers," exclaimed one Right-wing city official, Marco Clarke in February 2007, doubtless spurred on by feelings of nearby St Valentines Day - and the chance of a few quick votes. There being nothing worse in Italy than being accused of being anti-love, the Local Authority installed steel columns and chains nearby so that they could be used instead of the lamppost for the padlocks.

And the custom has spread. There's a website where you can attach a virtual padlock with (to?) your lover and throw away an imaginary key. And love padlocks have begun appearing all over Europe. DG musicians have certainly seen these in Berlin and Prague for example. Anyone seen any in the UK?

Don't Get Locked Into a Bad Deal

And remember... if you're looking to get all romantic with accompanying music, don't get padlocked into a deal with some second-rate outfit for your Romantic Party. Quiet and Sophisticated. Rockin' and Groovin'. Big Gig. Intimate Soiree. Whatever you need we're experienced & professional with all the special skills needed to help you plan your Valentine's Day event.

Call us : And be sure of a long-term, satisfying and happy relationship!

Images

'Romantic Heart from Love Seeds' by epSos.de is licensed under CC BY 2.0

'Saint Valentine Kneeling In Supplication' by David Teniers III is in the Public Domain Mark 1.0

'That Love Bridge Thing' by kvanhorn is licensed under CC BY Attribution 2.0 Generic

'Ponte Milvio love padlocks 1' is licensed by Wikimedia Commons/Heb

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About DG Music

DG Music is a professional Music Agency providing bands and musicians for private events and public performances.

The business has been operating since 2004 and is proud of the professional and friendly service it provides.

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