Unbeknownst to yours truly, I went searching for a nice little well written history about Valentine's Day so that I could write an article filled with facts for the wonderful readers. Low and behold, I come to find that Valentine's Day has a murky history, being that no one really knows exactly why someone decided to send the busty barmaid flowers with a card hoping to get a booty call. Maybe it was just natural instinct, but why on February the 14th? I shall discuss some possible reasons why we now have crappy tasting little mint hearts with words like "Be Mine" and "Me Love You Long Time".


One of the more popular legends says that during the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II figured that since married men didn't want to be soldiers because they would have to leave their families, he should outlaw marriage. Forgetting the obvious fact that if one outlaws marriage, then very soon one won't even have an empire to run, he went ahead and put his dubious plan to work. A priest by the name of Valentine was outraged by such an injustice, and continued to marry young couples in secret (as well as videotaping their honeymoon night for them at no extra charge!). Claudius eventually learned what Val was up to, and had him put to death on February 14th. Other stories suggest Valentine was actually killed for trying to help Christians escape Roman prisons where they were tortured, but these aren't quite so romantic or cost effective to the holiday.

Another legend tells that Valentine sent the very first "valentine" himself. The legend says that while in jail, Valentine fell in love with a girl who visited him while he was imprisoned there. Supposedly before his death, he wrote a letter to his sweetheart and signed it "From your Valentine", which is exactly what people say to each other all the time on Valentine's Day. Do we see a pattern here? I think so.  No matter what the legends may say, though, Valentine's Day became a declared holiday around 498 AD by Pope Gelasius.

A few facts about Valentine's Day you didn't know (and probably couldn't care less about): 

- The term "wear your heart on your sleeve" is said to have come from an old tradition in the middle ages where young men and women would draw names from a bowl as a way to pick who their valentine was and they would then pin the name to their sleeves where it would stay for one week.

- The heart shape that is now so popular for symbolizing love has been used throughout history, though not always meaning what it does now. Variations have been found from ancient Greece, Africa, and the early hunters of Europe before the last ice age. In Sweden, however, the heart shape is associated with  "defecation" because it was an old sign for "toilet" for both males and females.

- Doesn't it seem like those little heart candies have been around forever? They practically have! Aside from having an atomic shelf life like a Twinkie, these little pastel sweets have been in production for over 150 years! The first hearts were invented in the 1860's and had a little note tucked inside that said something like "please send a lock of your hair by return mail."

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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