As Valentine’s Day comes around, spare a passing thought for that ubiquitous red heart that has come to symbolize the event. Historically speaking, there is a lot more than is at the surface for that emblem of love.
A story of love, betrayal and impending war became entwined with upheavals that affect the discipline of folklore to this day.
Spring is the herald of new life, and throughout the animal world, spring is a time to forecast the weather – and more – for the summer to come.
Many classical sculptures today have lost their penises to time and prudery but the ancient world was awash with explicit graphic imagery.
Sending mean cards? Eating mashed earthworms? Using jack o’lanterns to light medieval love banquets? They’re all surprising yet vaguely sinister ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.