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MAGAZINE : Love Life

10 Great Ideas For This Valentine's Day

Ever wondered why Valentine's colours are pink, red and white, or why kisses are marked with an X? Here are the 10 classic ways that couples celebrate Valentine's Day, and the meanings and traditions behind them.

1. Proclaiming your love. If there's one day in the year that is particularly auspicious for declaring your love, it's definitely Valentine's Day! To proclaim your undying love without passing for a poetic fool, the best way is just to be sincere and express what you really feel. Tradition dictates that a love letter should be signed with an X. Back in the Middle Ages, it is said that illiterates signed official documents with an X, onto which they planted a kiss as a sign of their sincerity. Hence the adage 'sealed with a kiss'. So sign with an X and tell her the story as you give her a kiss.

2. Using the magic of colours. Whether it's what you'll be wearing, the gift you'll be giving, or simply the dinner table you'll be setting, make sure you adhere to the Valentine's colour palette. It's elementary, there are in fact three colours to abide by: red which symbolises loyalty and dedication, white which means sincerity and purity, and finally pink which denotes the traditional colour of girls. The three 'colour commandments' are said to have originated long ago, at a time when yellow and red roses were forbidden to unwed women.

3. Understanding the language of flowers. Each different flower bouquet you arrange has its own special meaning! If you choose roses, you must limit the number of stems to 11, the 12th rose of course, being the object of your love. Forget-me-nots express true love, hope and remembrance. Throw in a fern of two to mean sincerity, magic and shelter. A yellow iris signifies passion. Offering pansies means that the recipient is being thought about; the flower's name comes from the French word pensée which means thought. Then, there are red and yellow tulips which bring happiness in love, dedication and togetherness.

4. Keeping superstition at bay. It's interesting to point out that Valentine's Day should occur in Aquarius, the most detached sign of the zodiac and not exactly known for warmth and passion. Also, it is said that a woman who glimpses a dove on this day will experience happiness in love and will likely get married to a kind hearted man that year. An owl, however, is said to be a sign that a woman will not get married that year. A sparrow is considered to tie a woman with a poor man, and a goldfinch will bring fortune: wedding bells are likely to ring in a millionaire's house.

5. Getting her attention. In Victorian times, a woman who wished to lure a man's gaze in her direction had simply to 'casually' drop a lace handkerchief on the ground. Since then, lace has been lovers' preferred cloth on Valentine's Day. The best way to get her attention is therefore to hand her a card delicately wrapped in lace. A pink gift box containing undergarments, a scarf or gloves - all made with lace, of course - will do just splendidly.


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