Why is Feb 14th linked with love? Some say it stems back to the old English belief that birds choose their mates on Feb 14th, plus the general belief that Spring is a time for lovers.There is also a connection with the Roman festival of Lupercalia on Feb 15th, to ensure protection from wolves. During this celebration young men struck women with strips of animal hide and women took the blows because they thought that the whipping would make them more fertile. After the Romans conquered Britain in AD 43, the Britains borrowed many Roman festivals and made a link with Lupercalia because of the similar date.The Early Christian Church had at least two saints named Valentine, one who was a priest who secretly married young couples under the Romans, despite the emperor’s orders that young men were forbidden to marry because they made better soldiers if they were single. Valentine was reputed to have been executed on Feb 14th in about AD 69, and in AD 496 Saint Pope Gelasius 1 named February 14th as St Valentine’s Day.Many of the Valentines’s customs revolved around discovering the name of the person someone would marry. One description told how in the 1700’s groups of friends met to draw names. For several days each man wore his Valentine’s name on his sleeve – the saying ‘wearing his heart on his sleeve’ probably came from this practice.Today, well, anything goes, from bill boards at Piccadilly Circus to small ads in the local press. Why all the fuss? Well, its love, actually…