Gov. Jeb Bush is honoring couples who have proven their love is "here to stay."
Thursday night, Bush and his wife hosted five couples who have been married for more than 50 years. The governor and Mrs. Bush have been married for nearly 29 years.
Bush has made strengthening families one of his themes. He called Thursday night's dinner, A Valentine's Eve Celebration of Marriage. At Bush's invitation, the couples told stories of how they met.
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Valentine’s Day History
Origins of Valentine’s Day
- There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Many believe that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity.
- Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".
- Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine.
History of Saint Valentine’s Day
- In ancient Rome, Feb. 14 was a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage.
- Following Valentine’s Day, Feb. 15, began the Feast of Lupercalia.
- On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.
Valentine’s Day Traditions
- Hundreds of years ago in England, many children dressed up as adults on Valentine's Day. They went singing from home to home.
- In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"
- Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
- Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
- Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
- If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.
Source: A collection of web reports contributed to this report.