14 Facts About Feb 14th 598

Many think of Valentine’s Day as just a day commemorating Cupid and love or a Hallmark holiday.  Have you ever wondered how this day dedicated to love came to be? There are a lot of stories and symbolism related to the celebration of Valentines Day.  We have done our research and selected 14 fun and interesting facts about the February 14th.

It has Pagan Roots

Historians believe Valentine’s Day began in Ancient Rome as a pagan festival called Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. The festival began with members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, gathering at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood pool and take to the streets, whipping the women with the goat hide. Although painful, Roman women welcomed the slap of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile.

It officially became a holiday associated with love and romance

Lupercalia was outlawed at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

There are a few Saint Valentines

The Catholic Church recognizes a few different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred. One legend of Valentine is he was a Roman priest who served during the third century. At this time, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage because he thought single men made better soldiers. Valentine was appalled by this and thought it would be best to keep performing marriages for young couples in love in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. After he was sentenced to his death, young couples would visit his cell and give him flowers and cards. And the day he died? February 14. Allegedly. Another story suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his execution, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine”.  Although the details behind the Valentine legends are not crystal clear, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, romantic figure. By the Middle Ages Valentine would become one of the most beloved saints in England and France.


You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year

Because of the abundance of St. Valentines on the Roman Catholic roster, you can choose to celebrate the saint multiple times each year. Besides February 14, you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or maybe you want to get a jump on the traditional Valentine celebration by feting St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. Women might choose to honor the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.


You can find Valentine’s skull in Rome

The flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains and other relics now associated with St. Valentine. As is customary, these bits and pieces of the late saint’s body have subsequently been distributed to reliquaries around the world. You’ll find other bits of St. Valentine’s skeleton on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.

The first valentines were sent in the 15th century

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois

Esther Howland is the first manufacturer of Valentines

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Before Howland commercialized them, American valentines were less romantic and more comic. Her inspiration came from the thoughtful and sweet greeting cards that were circulating in England and she decided to sell similar designs in the U.S.

Americans now send millions of  Valentine’s Day cards each year

By the 19th century printed cards were widely available. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year second to Christmas. Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards annually, followed  closely by children, then mothers, wives and significant others.

The Heart is the Symbol of Love

If you ever wondered why everywhere you look on Valentine’s Day there are hearts all around, it’s because it’s a belief in the Christian faith that the heart is the seat of all emotions, especially love. And since love is the dominant feeling of the day, the heart is now a great symbol of the holiday. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is more than just a phrase. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be. According to the Smithsonian, they would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week so that everyone would know their true feelings. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”


The most popular gift on Valentine’s Day is flowers

The favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess is the red rose. The rose bud stands for strong romantic feelings, so it’s no surprise they make up the most popular Valentine’s Day bouquets. Approximately 50 million roses are received on Valentine’s Day around the world, making it the most popular gift followed by chocolate and then jewelry.


The Heart Shaped box has been around for more than 140 years

In addition to creating arguably the richest, creamiest, and sweetest chocolate on the market, Richard Cadbury also introduced the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates in 1868, According to History.com. Today, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year. That’s 58 million pounds of chocolate. According to the National Confectioners Association, caramels are the most popular flavor in chocolate boxes, followed by chocolate-covered nuts, chocolate-filled, cream-filled, and coconut.


Necco Sweethearts date back to early 1900’s

In 1847, Boston pharmacist Oliver Chase invented a machine that simplified the lozenge production process, resulting in the first candy-making machine, according to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. After identifying an opportunity to revolutionize the candy business, Chase shifted his focus to candy production with Necco wafers.  It wasn’t until 15 years after the creation of Necco wafers that Daniel Chase’s brother, Oliver Chase, developed a way to press words onto the candy lozenges with a felt roller pad and vegetable food coloring. According to The Huffington Post, the conversation candies officially became heart-shaped in 1902. Now more than 8 billion conversation hearts are manufactured each year.  Necco must start making them just days after February 14 to have enough in time for the next Valentine’s Day. Each box has approximately 45 sayings and ten new saying are added every year.


Cupid, Who?

Cupid is not just a chunky, naked baby with wings, and a bow and an arrow. Cupid is the son of Venus, the god of beauty and love, of course he became the symbol of love and romance.   Named after the Latin word for “desire” (cupido), legend says that Cupid can cause a victim to fall in love just by shooting a golden arrow into his or her heart.


Not all Countries Celebrate the same….

*Finland calls Valentine’s Day-  Ystävänpäivä, which translates into ‘Friend’s day’. It’s all about celebrating your friends rather than your partner.  * In Japan, it’s customary for just the women to give confections to the men in their lives, with the quality of the chocolate indicating their true feelings, according to Fortune. On March 14, the men repay the favor by celebrating the increasingly popular “White Day.  *Lovebirds flock to Bangkok’s Bangrak district, Thailand’s “Village of Love” to be married on Valentine’s Day. They believe the aptly named village will ensure them a long-lasting marriage, and they begin lining up outside the Bangrak district office in the wee hours of the morning.  *Each year, the city of Verona receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet on Valentine’s Day. Verona is where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet lived.  *The concept of Saint Valentine’s keys is famous throughout Europe. People give keys to their lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”. In some parts of Europe, Valentine’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated on July 6 and July 30.



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Town’s Green Initiatives Continue to Impress 96

Supervisor Ed Romaine has announced that his “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiative” continues to show impressive results by reducing the Town’s CO2e emissions by 33% in 2018 as compared to the baseline year of 2005. The term CO2e refers tocarbon dioxide equivalents.” It is a measure of the global warming potential given by a particular greenhouse gas as a function of the amount or concentration of carbon dioxide gas. The figures are for fossil fuel derived carbon emissions that are within the Town’s control from Town operations. The evaluation follows Local Government Operations Protocol (LGOP) for emission inventories. Staff from the Town’s Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management (RSMM) use a tool available through the EPA called the Local GHG Inventory Tool: Government Operation Module. This tool takes energy use data and transforms it using built-in emission factors. The output is the standard tons of CO2e or tons of carbon emission equivalents. The raw energy use data comes from PSEG, National Grid, and home heating oil bills, along with totals of gasoline and diesel used by the Town’s fleet.

Pictured above is one of the Town’s electric vehicles at a charging station in Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. The Town also installed charging stations at the Moriches Bay Recreation Center and the Parks Administration Building in Centereach.

The solar array at the Town’s Holtsville Ecology site is pictured above. Solar arrays are also located at the Manorville Compost facility and Town Hall, with another under construction at Brookhaven Calabro Airport and one planned for the amphitheater parking lot in Farmingville.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am very pleased with the findings in this report. The results put the Town right on track to reach my goal and I thank all Town employees who are doing the big and little things that conserve energy and reduce our carbon footprint. I ask all the residents of Brookhaven Town to do their part as well. Together, we can make a difference and leave our future generations with a better place to live.”

Councilman Neil Foley, Town Board Liaison to the Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management said, “The Supervisor’s track record has put the Town in a position to lead the way on green energy issues for years to come. I am very proud to be part of his team and to have the opportunity to make such a positive impact on the environment that we will leave here for our children.”

In comparing 2018 to 2005 (baseline), the report indicated:
Annual electric consumption down 2,392,298 KWh. CO2e reduction = 7,396.55 tons.
Annual gasoline consumption down 122,077 gallons.  CO2e reduction = 1,413.55 tons.

A breakdown of the Town’s 2018 carbon emissions by source:
Street Lighting             36%
Vehicle Emissions       28%
Other Town Buildings 22%
Town Hall                     12%
Traffic Signals               2%

As streetlights throughout the Town continue to be converted to energy efficient LED lighting, the projected Town-wide reduction of the Town’s CO2 Emissions will be up to 35% by the end of 2019.

At a recent Town Board Work Session, staff from the Town’s Department of Planning and Environment and Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management presented an update on Supervisor Romaine’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiative. The Supervisor announced in 2015 that the Town was committed to a 50% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from its operations by 2020 to become a sustainable, self-reliant, environmentally pro-active community. This will help combat climate change, reduce vulnerability to fluctuating fuel prices and supply and prepare for future economic challenges. The Supervisor’s program incorporates new technology and industry practices and responds to 21st century challenges for communities to become more energy independent by combating climate change, reducing vulnerability to fluctuating fuel prices and preparing for future economic challenges.

For more information about Supervisor Romaine’s “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Initiative,” visit the Town of Brookhaven website at www.brookhavenny.gov.

East Main Street Road Closure – Night Road Work Starts Tonight (5/13/19) at 9pm 52

Please be advised that beginning tonight, Monday May 13th at 9 pm, East Main Street in Patchogue, from the Four Corners to Rider Avenue, will be closed due to road work.

The village will be resurfacing East Main Street from Rider Avenue east to Bay Avenue.  The project is expected last four four nights with completion slated for Thursday am.  The planned road closure will continue each evening beginning at 9 pm through 5 am until work is completed.  The Village apologizes in advance for any inconvenience as motorists should expect lane closures and detours for the duration of the project.


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