Love Your Neighbors -Special Valentine's Contest 2018

Valentine's Day hasn't always been hearts and roses. Over time it's been many things-- and why not?

It's been around for centuries, starting as an ancient pagan celebration of fertility until the 5th century when Pope Gelasius took over the date to honor Saint Valentine, a priest beheaded in 270 AD for performing Christian marriages.

Even then, the day was not associated with romance until the Middle Ages when poet Geoffry Chaucer linked the day with love in his poem "Parlement of Foules."

For this was on Saint Valentine's day,

When every fowl comes there his mate to take.



A society obsessed with chivalry and courtly love took this image to heart and the holiday took flight.

The oldest known valentine was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. His jailer, King Henry V, must have been impressed because he hired his own writer to compose valentines. And from there the holiday just kept growing.

From the handwritten notes friends and lovers exchanged in the 18th century, to the masses of printed cards that are swapped today, Valentine's Day comes second only to Christmas for the number of cards sent. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards will be sent this year. That, my friends, is a lot of love. And who doesn't love love?

But here at The Village we want to share the love beyond cards and chocolates (although those are very nice). We want to see how you spread love and kindness out to the world. Simply post a photo and description of the way you have used the holiday to bring some love and light into the world on the Village Facebook page. Two lucky participants will win a $50 Village gift card as our thanks for making the world a better place.

Did you donate a trunkful of clothes?

Pay in forward in the Starbucks line?

Shovel your neighbors driveway?

Volunteer in the soup kitchen?

Show us your big hears, Rochester Hills, and win!