Valentine's Day is widely recognized today as a day for sweethearts, friends and family to send romantic cards, flowers and gifts to each other. You may have wondered how this day began, so we looked it up in our resources at the Abilene Public Library to share with you!
The World Book Encyclopedia online says "Different authorities believe Valentine's Day began in various ways. Some trace it to an ancient Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia. Other experts connect the event with one or more (martyred) saints of the early Christian church. Still others link it with an old English belief that birds choose their mates on February 14. Valentine's Day probably came from a combination of all three of those sources - plus the belief that spring is a time for lovers."
Your library has a great many books on the Valentine's Day theme for children, in both easy picture book and juvenile formats. Those can be fun for families, but we also have a number of things for adults, from books of romantic poetry, to movies, to cookbooks for special treats, or romantic music; not to mention the number of romances and novels in the collection.
If you're looking for just the right mood setting tunes, try downloading music of all types from Hoopla, our downloadable service. A quick search through our catalog gives us varied results as Valentine's Day Grooves, Valentine's Day Instrumentals, Valentine's Day Cowboys and Valentine's Day Divas. There are selections from various decades, doo-wop, reggae, hip-hop, classical and more - whatever music you find appropriate.
Perhaps a romantic movie is your idea of the ideal Valentine's Day - we can help there also. Besides the options for download from Hoopla, we have titles available on DVD as well. Valentine's Day starring an enormous ensemble cast, including Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates & Jamie Foxx, tells the stories of "a diverse group of Los Angelenos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine's Day." A classic love story (and one of my all-time favorites!) is Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer. In this somewhat campy but wonderful film, a young writer sacrifices his life in the present to find happiness in the past, where true love awaits him.
Maybe cooking a great meal for your loved one(s) is a Valentine's must - take a look at The Pioneer Woman Cooks: a Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations by Ree Drummond. She includes special treats, a menu for a Valentine's breakfast, and a romantic dinner. If your sweetie has a special diet, try Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion. This cookbook has 125 recipes for grain-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free comfort food dishes for holidays and special occasions.
Of course, whatever you choose to do, the entire point of Valentine's Day is to spend it with those you love, and your Abilene Public Library can help you find special ways to do just that!
Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library