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A History of Valentine’s Day

A History of Valentine’s Day

‍Love, Legends, and Lupercalia: A Fascinating Journey through the History of Valentine’s Day ‍

Valentine’s Day, a day filled with love, romance, and heartfelt gestures. But have you ever wondered about the origins and true history of this beloved holiday?

Origins of Valentine’s Day: Lupercalia and ancient Roman traditions

To truly understand the history of Valentine’s Day, we must travel back to ancient Rome and explore the festival known as Lupercalia. Celebrated on the ides of February, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. It was a raucous affair, filled with feasting, dancing, and even a unique matchmaking ritual. Young men would draw the names of young women from a jar, and the pairings would last for the duration of the festival, often leading to lasting relationships and even marriage.

But where does St. Valentine come into the picture? The connection between Lupercalia and Valentine’s Day is believed to have been established by the early Christian church. To Christianize pagan traditions. Pope Gelasius I declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day, commemorating the martyrdom of St. Valentine, a priest who defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban on marriage and continued to perform weddings in secret. Thus, the celebration of love became intertwined with the story of St. Valentine.

The legend of St. Valentine: The real story behind the holiday

The true history of St. Valentine remains shrouded in mystery, with several legends and narratives surrounding his life and martyrdom. One popular story depicts St. Valentine as a compassionate and kind-hearted man who, while imprisoned, healed the blind daughter of his jailer. Before his execution, it is said that he wrote a heartfelt letter signed “Your Valentine” to the young girl, thus giving birth to the tradition of sending love letters on Valentine’s Day.

Interesting fact: Saint Valentine is also the patron saint of Epilepsy. Read more on this through Librarysearch.

However, it is important to note that the true history of St. Valentine is still a subject of debate among historians, and the details of his life may forever remain elusive. Nevertheless, the legend of St. Valentine has played a significant role in shaping the holiday we know and cherish today.

Valentine’s Day cards

Valentine’s Day cards, also known as “valentines,” have become synonymous with the holiday, but their origins can be traced back to the 15th century. It was during this time that handwritten love notes and tokens of affection began to gain popularity in Europe. These early valentines were often intricate and ornate, adorned with lace, ribbons, and even locks of hair. They were exchanged between lovers, friends, and family members as a heartfelt expression of love and admiration.

As the printing press revolutionized the way information was disseminated, the production of valentines became more widespread. In the 19th century, mass-produced Valentine cards became readily available, making it easier for people to express their affection to loved ones. These cards featured elaborate designs, sentimental verses, and whimsical illustrations, capturing the essence of romance and enchantment.

The commercialisation of Valentine’s Day

In the 20th century, Valentine’s Day transformed from a simple celebration of love to a commercialized extravaganza. The rise of the printing industry, advancements in technology, and the growth of consumer culture all contributed to the commercialisation of the holiday. Retailers seized the opportunity to capitalize on the emotions associated with Valentine’s Day, marketing everything from chocolates and flowers to jewellery and extravagant gifts.

As the holiday gained popularity, it became increasingly intertwined with popular culture, with movies, songs, and advertisements promoting the idea of lavish and grand gestures. Today, Valentine’s Day is a multi-billion dollar industry, with couples and singles alike participating in the festivities, whether through romantic dinners, gift exchanges, or simply expressing love and appreciation for those closest to them.

Valentine’s Day traditions around the world: Exploring unique customs and celebrations

While Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries, each culture has its own unique traditions and customs associated with the holiday. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for women to express their affection by giving chocolates to men. However, it is not only romantic love that is celebrated. On February 14th in Finland, for example, Valentine’s Day is known as “Friendship Day,” a time to honour and cherish friendships.

In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is not limited to a single day but is celebrated over an entire month. On February 14th, women give chocolates to men, and on March 14th, known as “White Day,” men reciprocate by giving gifts to women. These diverse traditions remind us that love is a universal language, transcending cultural boundaries and bringing people together.

Valentine’s isn’t just for couples! Don’t forget you can share the love with anyone, from family to friends (personally I love to celebrate Galentine’s Day with my friends). Whether you embrace the commercialised aspects of the holiday or opt for a more meaningful celebration, Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to cherish and appreciate the people we hold dear.

Resources

Want to deep dive into all things romance? Why not check out an entire Journal dedicated to the subject: The Journal of Romance Studies. Alternatively, get comfy on the sofa with a wealth of romantic movies all freely available through Box of Broadcasts.

By Juliet Kinsey

Read about how wonderful your Library is here on the blog with our posts on “love your Library

Image Source: Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

World Radio Day

World Radio Day

13th February marks World Radio Day  🎶 play Radio Gaga by Queen 🎶

What is World Radio Day?

Declared by UNESCO in 2011 and then proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012, February 13th became World Radio Day. The objective of the day is simple, to celebrate the radio, as a public service, as a network and communication. February 13th was chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Radio in 1946 (Wikipedia.org/World Radio Day). And as UNESCO states on their website ‘In an era marked by the dizzying speed of technological innovation, the radio beginning in its second century as dependable and widely utilize’ (UNESCO.org)

The History of the Radio

Canadian Reginald Fessenden is the pioneer of the radio and in December 1906, his voice was broadcasted.  The radio was crucial to the First World War and heavily relied upon. It wasn’t until the 1920s that radio resembled what it is today, filled with speakers and music. The 1950s saw a boom in radio broadcasting programmes (dramas to comedy), music and adverts.  it is considered the Golden Age.  One of the most famous programmes was the War of Worlds.  However, soon Radio would be competing with the world of television (Britannica/radio)

The radio was a huge revolution in the world of communication. News became instantly accessible. It changed consumer world with advertising. It transformed the world of music, making it the venture it is today. (university of Minnesota) 

The Radio and the Library

Interested in radio, you can browse our expansive library catalgoue till your hearts content.  This includes databases such as the wonderful world of Box of Broadcasts.   You can also browse the school of Creative Arts and Industries subject guides. Here you can find more of the impact of radio.

 

Interested in more United Nations Day, have a browse here

 

Photo Source Anmol Arora Unsplash 

 

Love Your Library

Love Your Library

Love Your Library 2024

It’s back! It’s that time of year again. The old cliché of chocolates, flowers, and books. We joke but it is Love Your Library Week. Hearts rejoice. This week we will be running our annual feedback drive. Every year around Valentine, we ask what do you love about the library? But also, what do you hate? And you can be honest. This is your library.

Love Your Library in the Libraries

Our libraries will be pretty in pink with their displays. There will be post-it notes, heart-shaped of course. And you can tell us what you love and what you hate.  There will be a display at each library campus. If that isn’t enough, we will also be handing out sweets. We will be running this all week so you have plenty of time to let us know. We love getting feedback, it helps us understand what we are doing right and what we need to improve. And we listen to all feedback. It can be anonymous.

 All Year Round

We should add that we appreciate feedback all year round. Each library has a comment box, and you can always contact us or give us a shout on social media. Let us know what you think about our library services.

Read previous posts on our library services and our previous feedback drives here.

Scottish Women in Science

Scottish Women in Science  

Scotland has a rich history of scientific achievements and Scottish women have played a pivotal role in shaping these accomplishments. From groundbreaking discoveries to innovative research, these remarkable women have defied societal norms and overcome countless obstacles to leave an indelible mark on the field of science.

Historical Scottish Women Pioneers in Science

Even in times when opportunities for women were severely limited, Scottish women managed to push the boundaries and excel in various scientific disciplines. One such pioneer was Mary Somerville, who became a renowned mathematician and astronomer in the 19th century. Her work in celestial mechanics and her influential book “The Mechanism of the Heavens” significantly contributed to our understanding of the universe.

Another trailblazer was Elizabeth Blackwell, who became the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States in 1849. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Blackwell faced immense challenges and discrimination in her pursuit of a medical career. Her determination and resilience not only opened doors for women in medicine but also paved the way for future generations of female physicians.

In the field of medicine, Dr. Elsie Inglis revolutionized healthcare by establishing the Scottish Women’s Hospitals during World War I. Her tireless efforts saved countless lives and challenged the prevailing gender norms of the time.

Modern Scottish Women Making Strides in the Scientific World

Professor Linda Bauld is a public health expert, Bauld has been instrumental in shaping Scotland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research on public health behaviour and interventions has had a significant impact on policy both in Scotland and internationally.

In the realm of environmental science, Professor Sheila Rowan has made groundbreaking discoveries in gravitational wave detection. Her research has opened up new possibilities for studying the universe, earning her international acclaim and recognition.

The primatologist and neuroethologist Professor Dame Anne Glover is a world-leading expert on animal behaviour and cognition. She has served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and has received many honours and awards.

Scientists of Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University is home to many talented women scientists who are making significant contributions in various fields.

  • Prof Yvonne Kuipers, Professor of Midwifery, has over 20 years of experience in women’s reproductive health. She has conducted research on a variety of topics, including home birth, traumatic childbirth experiences, and midwifery-led care.
  • Dr. Fiona Lees, Professor of Occupational Therapy, is an expert in disability studies. She has conducted research on a variety of topics, including wheelchair use, falls prevention, and social care.
  • Prof Emma Hart is a professor of computational intelligence here at Edinburgh Napier. She is known for her work in artificial immune systems (AIS)evolutionary computation and optimisation.
  • Dr. Clare Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology and is a passionate advocate of equality and inclusion

These are just a few examples of the many accomplished women scientists working at Edinburgh Napier University. Their research is making a real difference in the world, and they are inspiring the next generation of female scientists. In addition to these individual researchers, Edinburgh Napier University is committed to supporting women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) more broadly.

The university has several initiatives in place to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in science. Such as the EQUATE Scotland program, which provides mentoring and support to women in the built environment, engineering, technology, and science sectors.

Celebrating the Achievements of Scottish Women in Science

Scottish women have played a vital role in shaping the scientific world. Defying societal expectations and making groundbreaking discoveries. From the pioneers of the past to the trailblazers of today, their contributions have paved the way for future generations of scientists. It is crucial to celebrate and recognize their achievements, while also working towards creating a more inclusive and equitable scientific community. By supporting and empowering Scottish women in science, we can ensure that their remarkable legacy continues to inspire and drive scientific progress for years to come.

Join us in celebrating the achievements of Scottish women in science by sharing their stories and advocating for gender equality in STEM fields. Together, we can break down barriers and create a more inclusive scientific community.

By Juliet Kinsey

Read more on Women in Science here.

 

🏳️‍🌈LGBT+ History Month 🏳️‍🌈

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month

February is the month we celebrate LGBT+ History here in the UK. It is a month-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. In the United Kingdom, we celebrate it in February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28.

What we are doing

Here at the Library, we think it is incredibly important to support and promote equality and diversity. Furthermore, we are working hard to create more inclusive collections and to support our LGBT+ users and staff. For example, we are currently creating a permanent LGBT+ virtual bookshelf here on our blog, and we are training our staff to be inclusive in their actions and the language they use.

Resources

If you are an LGBT+ student you can join Edinburgh Napier’s LGBT+ Society.   You can also find out more about the student LGBT+ community on the Queer Napier site. Staff can join the University’s thriving LGBT+ Network or you can visit our web pages to learn more about becoming an ally.

In addition, The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBT+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs. 

Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: 

Same-sex, different politics: success and failure in the struggles over gay rights

Lgbt Activism and the Making of Europe A Rainbow Europe  

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people (LGBT) and the criminal justice system

Equality

Pride Parades and LGBT Movements: Political Participation in an International Comparative Perspective

Similarly, want to know more about Pride Month?  Check out our article here.

Photo source: Photo by Jas Min on Unsplash

Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources

Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources

Happy Friday everyone. We have promoted our Physiotherapy and Sports & Exercise Science Resources this week. You might have seen our book display at Sighthill Library Campus. Or our digital signage slides promoting different resources the past few days. Or even our social media posts. If not, don’t worry we have you covered with this article.  We will summarise this week and highlight all the Sports and Physiotherapy resources. If you have an interest in the sports sciences or are a student of either Applied Sciences or Health & Social Care, then we have you covered.

On Monday, we gave a shout-out to our physical book display and reading lists.

Research Databases

On Tuesday, we gave a shout-out to our research databases. Research Databases are a collection of online scholarly works that can be articles, case studies and periodicals. We have a database tab on LibrarySearch. There are 3 that we would like to highlight; Medline, PubMed and Sportdiscus:

  • Medline: covers a wide range of medical journal articles and references with a focus on biomedicine.
  • PudMed: developed by the National Library of Medicine in the USA. Thousands of articles and citations that range from biomed to life science.
  • SportDiscus: Provided by the Sport Information Resource Centre. It covers sport and fitness and related disciplines.

Journals:

Half way the week, it was about the journals. We have 4 journals to promote. We want to add that not all journals can be found in databases but you can either search them individually on librarysearch or on the journal tab. Like the research databases, they covered a wide range from fitness to medicine.

  • International Journal of Sport Medicine
  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
  • British Journal of Sport Medicine
  • Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise

Non-Research Databases:

Not only do we have research databases but we have non-research databases. And it was our non-research databases that took the spotlight.

  • Anatomy.Tv (Also known as Anatomy and Physiology Online): Here you will find over 20 interactive Modules, 3D anatomy and media-rich content.  Case studies and quizzes are available.
  • Sage Research Methods: Research essential. Provides information on writing research questions, how to do a literature review, research methods, collecting and analysing data and much more. It covers all research methods used in the social sciences.

Once again, you can find these all on LibrarySearch.

We hope you found this post insightful. Don’t forget to check out the libguides and previous posts on databases

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

(新年快乐)   Xīn nián kuài lè”

Happy New Year!

 Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival, begins on Saturday, 10th February 2024 until 24th February 2024. The holiday begins with the new moon that occurs between January 21st and February 20th.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Traditions focus on seeing out the old year and welcoming in the luck and prosperity of a new year.

Chinese New Year origins are steeped in legend. Thousands of years ago a monster named Nian (“Year”) attacked villagers at the beginning of each new year. However, the monster feared loud noises, bright lights, and the colour red, so villagers used these to chase the beast away. In the form of fireworks, lanterns and red became the primary colour.

Red signifies prosperity and good energy to ‘ward off evil spirits and negativity.  This is why red lanterns are hung in streets and red couplets are pasted on doors to scare away bad spirits. Red is also incorporated in clothing and gifts. Celebrations include visiting family members, feasting, and respecting ancestors. And for good fortune, money is gifted in red envelopes. Celebrations include firecrackers, fireworks and watching lion and dragon dances.

Year of the Dragon

2024 is the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is as an extraordinary creature in the Chinese calendar. Symbolising ‘power, nobility, honour, luck and success’. Ancient Emperors would regard themselves as dragons due to their powerful and dominant nature. So what does the Year of the Dragon have in store for you? Monkeys, Roosters and Pigs are set to have the luckiest year, while Rats, Ox, Dragons, Horses, Dogs and Goats might have more of challenging year ahead. You can find your individual readings

And with this, 2024 is see as the year of change, whether it be a year of opportunities or challenges or perhaps both. If you are looking to change things up this year, 2024 might be for you, good luck!

 

 

You can read more about the Year of Dragons Horoscope.

 

Links

Read more about New Year Traditions in our post New Year Traditions From Around The World

Find more resources at Library Search

Photo source: Til Man 

Supercharge Your Study

Supercharge Your Study

Do you struggle to find the time to get the head down and do some proper study?  Do you find it difficult to find a comfortable environment in which to settle down and gather your thoughts?  Or do you crave peace and quiet?  Do you lack the motivation to open your notes and put them into order?

We get that everyone studies in different ways. We know many of you like to study in our large, open communal spaces, and we know some of you prefer to study on your own in our silent areas.

But we’d like to offer you an alternative to both these options: a supported structured study session hosted by Library staff where you can study on your own, in peace and quiet, but within a group environment.

SuperCharge Study Session

There is good evidence that working together creates an atmosphere that increases productivity. So join us for a hosted session. We won’t tell you what to do. You’ll work on your own at your own pace. We won’t ask you what you’re working on, and we definitely won’t ask you to share. But we will offer support. We are friendly and welcoming, and we’re on your side. We will offer the space, peace, warmth and an uplifting atmosphere for you.

It’s the new year. Why not start 2024 as you mean to go on – with enhanced concentration, optimal learning opportunities, maximum productivity and flourishing levels of creativity.

You can read previous articles on studying tips 

We have feedback sheets around the library to fill in or you can answer these questions below and contact us.

  1. How long would you like to study for?
  2. How often would you like a dedicated hosted study session?
  3. What time of the day suits you best?
  4. Would you prefer virtual or on-campus?

Lego Day

Celebrating Lego Day

It’s world Lego day today. Lego is one of those toys that is ubiquitous with childhood. Anyone growing up in the West will know immediately what you mean when you mention it. It is the joy of Children everywhere, and the thing that drives most parents mad. Is there anything more painful to stand on!?!

In fact, people who have regularly experienced walking on hot coals and broken glass say Lego is by far the worst thing to walk on (source). Feeling brave? You always have a go at the Lego Firewalk. Personally, I’d rather walk on glass or coals!

History

It was in Denmark, at Ole Kirk Christiansen’s workshop where Lego was firstborn. In 1934 it became called Lego after the Danish phrase leg godt.  They were originally called Automatic Binding Bricks, but less originally they were based on the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, already patented in the UK.

Over time Lego has grown to become the biggest toy company in the world and is not only used as toys but as movies, artworks and they even made an amusement park you can visit.

Mindfulness and Lego

Lego is no longer just for children; in fact, they have many Lego sets dedicated to adults. There is some fascinating research connected to mindfulness about how doing Lego can help our mental health. We actually keep a Lego set behind each Library Help Desk you can borrow for free. Why not check one out next time you visit…if the library staff aren’t already playing with them that is!

Learn More

We have a fascinating and diverse range of materials for you to read on Lego, from issues with Dentistry (teeth and Lego are a bad mix it seems!) to build your own Lego Robots. Check out Librarysearch.napier.ac.uk.. Just type in the word “Lego” and start reading!

By Juliet Kinsey

Sources: Wikipedia

Australia Day

Australia Day takes place on 26th January and is the country’s national day which celebrates national unity and acknowledges its citizens and their contribution to the country. It marks the date in 1788 of the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. Around 750 mostly petty criminals were transported from the UK along with around 300 medical and military personnel to establish a colony which has since become a desirable place to live and a vibrant tourist destination.  Between 1945 and the early 1980s many UK nationals emigrated to Australia through the £10 ticket programme which sought to bring in migrants to fill labour shortages. The programme saw more than a million UK nationals leave for Down Under. Nowadays it’s one of the world’s top destinations for backpackers hoping to experience some of the enviable Australian lifestyle.

Australia

Australia has come a long way since 1788 when that first penal colony was established. There are iconic and innovative buildings and architecture such as Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australia now celebrates its indigenous heritage in the form of Aboriginal art and culture. There are also stunning natural wonders: vast outback, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the vast outback and spectacular coastlines. The Australian wildlife is pretty unique, there are those cute koalas and bouncing kangaroos. Sydney also hosts the Mardi Gras one of the world’s largest Pride festivals. Australia boasts top-flight cricket and rugby teams, tennis players and let’s not forget surfing which must be the country’s national sport. Then there’s the barbecue-the country’s best-known foodie export. Simple cooking on coals outdoors works well in Australia; perhaps we should have left it to them. We’ve all been to a barbecue in this country where the sausages have been burnt or which has been cut short because of the weather.

Long before remote teaching was introduced for students during the covid pandemic, Australia had been remotely educating students living far from the nearest school in the outback. School of the Air launched in 1951 using radio to deliver classes to these children. Now wireless technology is used enabling better communication and faster marking!

Neighbours

We couldn’t think about Australia without giving a mention to what must be Australia’s most famous export – the soap opera Neighbours. Launched in 1985 it quickly became a daytime tv favourite of students. Set in the fictional Ramsay Street in the suburb of Erinsborough, Melbourne it’s the show that launched a thousand pop careers (Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and  Stefan Dennis to name a few). With far-fetched storylines, impossibly good-looking residents and seemingly endless sunshine it’s no wonder that for 30 minutes each day from Monday to Friday we were quite happy to be whisked away to the other side of the world. In 2022 it was announced that Neighbours would end, and the final episode aired on terrestrial tv on 28th July 2022. Only a few months later Amazon Freevee announced the return of Neighbours on their platform in 2023 so loyal fans will still be able to follow their favourite soap once again.

Finally, Happy Australia Day to all our Australian staff and students!

You can use Library Search to find books and articles on Australia, soap operas, and Australian tourism.

Image source by Joeyy Lee

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