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Photograph - Valentine's Day at the Civic Centre
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Title: Photograph - Valentine's Day at the Civic Centre
Identifier: 2006.4.77.1
Donor: City of Mississauga
Item Date: 1987
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A colour photograph of Mayor Hazel McCallion in a cafeteria cutting a huge white, pink and red Valentine's cake at the Civic Centre. Mayor McCallion is wearing a dark green suit jacket with matching skirt and a white blouse. She is holding a large knife and is cutting one end of the cake. An unidentified gentleman, wearing a white lab coat (?) is standing next to the Mayor.

Cake was made to celebrate Valentine's Day at the Civic Centre but also the Mayor's 66th birthday.

The holiday "Valentine's Day" has evolved over the past 2,500 years from various cultures. Ancient Romans held the feast of Lupercalia on February 14 to celebrate fertility, marriage, and the coming of Spring. During the feast, boys would draw their "intendeds" names from an urn. The couple would stay together for a year, until the next feast, but some couples married. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius abolished the pagan ritual and instead encouraged the celebration of Saint Valentine. Now boys and girls drew the names of saints, who would be their moral and spiritual guides for the year. Saint Valentine was a Roman priest. During the bloody reign of Claudius II, marriage was outlawed to prevent men from forming families and staying home, and instead enlist in war. But Valentine secretly married couples. He was imprisoned for going against the emperor's edict. While in prison, he fell in love with the jailor's daughter and sent her secret messages, signing them "From your Valentine". He was executed on 14 February 270 AD. In 1537, Henry VIII officially declared February 14 as "Saint Valentine's Day". By the 1700s, cards were being exchanged on Valentine's Day. The first commercially produced cards appeared in America in the 1840s. Today couples still celebrate their love on Valentine's Day. Source: http://www.history.ca/content/ContentDetail.aspx?ContentId=119
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