Monday, 13 February 2012


Jack Valentine


As tomorrow is Valentines Day for us lovers etc out there. You might not have heard of the old Norfolk tradition of Jack Valentine. I do not know if anyone else around the UK or the world celebrates this little known tradition. In our families, in our own way, we always do.

We know him as Jack Valentine but known by other people as Old Father Valentine or Old Mother Valentine. So what is it all about? This mystic figure or figures are for the children, children of Father Christmas and Easter Bunny believing age. The mystical Valentine appears mysteriously outside the door of children, leaves a little gift, gives a load knock on the door and then disappears into thin air. Unlike Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny, there is no pictures of him that we know of. No one knows what he looks like. He gives a gift of love to all the little children on February 14th. By past experiences, I would guess he will visit Grace's house just after breakfast. So I hope you might celebrate this Norfolk tradition in your house this year. It is great to make up stories and get your little ones excited on his visit.

It is an old tradition, this extract from the BBC Norfolk website and that link has much more about this tradition.

"In the 1800s, Norfolk children would set out before dawn to sing rhymes in exchange for sweets, cakes and pennies.

One favourite local verse was:
Good morrow, Valentine,
God bless the baker,
You'll be the giver,
And I'll be the taker.

Once it was light, their requests could be turned down because they were said to be sunburnt."

So hopefully you might start this little tradition in your area this year. The gifts do not have to be expensive, sweets etc.  

Written by Phyllis.

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