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#valentine #cruffin another batch this time gruyere and ham And almond yuzu matcha it’s a non diet day so we are having Valentine dinner tonight #food
#lovejapan #日本大好き

Love and Kisses

Valentines day today, celebrated around the world, who was valentine?

In the southeast of France on the other side  of the Rhone, famous for Chateau Neuf du Pape  is the town of Roquemaure.

Where La Fete du baiser, (the kissing festival)in honour of the patron saint of all lovers, is held on the Saturday after St Valentine’s Day. Everyone dresses up in period costume and the wine and the Kissing flow all day long.

This is the town where the bones of saint valentine have come to rest.

His story starts in Rome 268 BC where valentine was a priest; the Caesar at the time Claude 11 banned the marriage of centurions.

Valentine continued to marry lovers and was discovered, he was arrested and sentenced to death, while imprisoned he is said to have healed the jailors daughters blindness. As part of the legend of Valentine it seems before his execution on February the 14th he passed a note to the jailors daughter which read “with love from your Valentine”

He was finally beaten to death then decapitated.

He was canonized in 1496.

The festival has been running for 17 years and was started by the local priest; It commemorates the arrival of the bones of saint Valentine in 1868. They had been bought at a relic auction in Rome to cure the area’s diseased vine stocks. The Crusaders planted the local vines in the 12th century.

A rich landowner, Maximilian Richard, who owned the domaine de Clary, bought the relics.  As he had introduced phylloxeria through American vines.

Within a few years the old vines became healthy again. Now Roquemaure’s Saint and most famous resident even has his own winery and wine label.

The custom of sending Valentine cards and messages comes from a Roman pagan fertility rite.

Later it was known that Charles of Orleans in the 15th century established the tradition of sending letters of love and affection tom members of the French court.

a Prussian, Von Stephan, probably produced the first Valentine postcards in 1865. Nine million Valentine cards are now sent every year and Roquemaure opens a special post office selling envelopes and stamps, signed with a loving kiss from La capitale des Amoureux.

Pictures copyright of Barrie Smith

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