Valentine’s Day has a long history that comes with some pretty quirky superstitions. Join in the fun and pin a bay leaf to your pillow or put faith in balls of clay to find your future match. Here are 10 fun superstitions you can try…
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Before Cupid, Hallmark or chocolate ever got involved Feb. 14 was singled out as a special day because of birds. Yes, birds. In medieval England and France it was believed that on this day our feathery friends picked their soulmates. Romantic, non?
Taken with the idea that perhaps a beak wasn’t the only requirement for love, excited lads and lassies (and messieurs and mademoiselles) sought to sponge some of the day’s luck by inventing a range of wacky Valentine’s Day superstitions. So if you’re ready to meet the love of your life — or move things forward with the one you already have — why not give the following a go?
Clay knows best
You may think that eHarmony knows best. Not so. According to an old British superstition, all you have to do to figure out if a romance is destined is write the names of your potential suitors on strips of paper and cover them in balls of clay. Then fill a bowl with water, pop the clay balls in and wait to see which name floats to the surface first. Whichever one does is the one you’re going to marry.
If there’s no clay to be found, you could try a similar superstition which involves hazelnuts. Just write the names of your suitors on the nuts then chuck them on to an open fire and see which one pops first.
Birds of a feather
How about a spot of birdwatching? Since birds started it all it makes sense that they play a part in the whole soulmate discovery process. As legend would have it, the first bird you see flying past you on Valentine’s Day will tell you about your future spouse.
If you see a goldfinch, good work, you’re fated to wed a millionaire. A sparrow indicates your destined won’t have money but you’ll have a happy marriage. A crossbill means your future mate will have argumentative tendencies. Fancy a sailor? In that case you had better look for a robin. If a clergyman is more your style then keep an eye out for a blackbird. A dove or five will give you a long and happy marriage but avoid owls or wrynecks at all costs. Sighting either one means you’ll remain single for life!
I dream of bay leaves
If you want to know more than just an occupation or name this handy 18th century British superstition will make all your dreams come true — quite literally. Just grab five bay leaves and fasten them to the corners and centre of your pillow on Valentine’s Day eve. Then boil an egg, take out the yolk and fill the cavity with salt. Eat it for your supper. Now, before falling asleep, recite the following: “Good valentine, be kind to me; in dreams let me my true love see.” If you’ve done everything right, you should dream of your future spouse.
Graveyards aren’t commonly a place where people go looking for love. However, if you want to see what your future soulmate looks like, you might have to seek one out at midnight on Valentine’s Day eve. Once among the gravestones dash around the church twelve times. Your efforts will be rewarded with a vision of your future mate. A little strange, but hey, all in the name of love, right?
A sleeve by any other name
Ever wonder where the expression “wear your heart on your sleeve” came from? It’s actually believed to be attached to a 600-year-old Valentine’s Day superstition. To give it a crack, gather your friends and write the names of eligible bachelors on small scraps of paper. Then toss them into a bowl or jar and take turns picking out a name each. Whichever name you land on is the one you write on your sleeve and wear for a week. If your intended doesn’t buckle at the knees and fall madly in love, he (or she) is clearly crazy!
The apple of your eye
Aside from being healthy and delicious apples have had a hand in foretelling romantic futures. If you’d like to try out their matchmaking services Valentine’s Day is your chance to do so. Hold the stem of an apple between your fingers and begin twisting it while citing a list of names of your potential suitors. Whichever name is on your lips when the stem breaks belongs to the one you’re going to marry.
A decent proposal
If you’ve been waiting for your special someone to get on with things and pop the question already there is a special Valentine’s Day superstition that may solve all of your problems. Just place a silver coin under your pillow the eve before Valentine’s Day and sleep on it. Once the deed is done tradition says your true love will get down on bended knee within the year. If you don’t have such lofty desires but wouldn’t mind a kiss scrap the coin and simply tie a blue satin ribbon around your ankle. According to superstition you should get a smooch before the day is out.
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You might already know that four-leaf clovers are said to bring luck in general but did you know that placing one in your shoe on Valentine’s Day could steer your luck to love? Depending on which superstition you choose to believe, performing this task will either lead you to meet your soulmate, a person with the same name as your soulmate or to stroll across a bridge with — you guessed it — your soulmate. Not bad for a little plant.
This one may take some work. You first have to find a mule. More specifically it has to be the mule with the longest ears out of all of its mule companions. Once you manage that, however, the rest is a breeze. According to an old gypsy superstition, all you have to do is ask the animal if you are going to fall in love in the immediate future. If the mule moves its head, congrats! It means you will. If the mule moves one ear it isn’t quite sure and if it stands deadly still it’s very sorry but love is not on your horizon.
If searching out mules is not really an option you could wait until the next leap year and count horses instead. Just spot 100 white steeds before Valentine’s Day and then whoever is first to shake your hand on Feb. 14 will be destined to marry you.
Straight to the point
Sometimes the best things in life are simple. Or at least that seems to be the approach this old Valentine’s Day superstition has taken. All you have to do is walk outside (or peer out of your window) and the first single man you see is the one you’ll marry. If you want to ensure success you can ask a friend to place a viola tricolor (otherwise known as a heartsease) on your eyelids when you’re dozing. When you wake up the first person you see is destined to be your true love.