February 13--one of the Church's holiest days. Yes, Peter's Birthday. So we've done the obvious things. We've sung Happy Birthday . We've baked a cake. We'd send him a present, but what do you get for the man who has everything (except hair)? But somehow none of this seemed like enough. It certainly wouldn't make for an interesting Birthday Webpage edition. So we pondered. And then it hit us.
Most new religions don't just spring up fully grown--they start small. As they go, they add holidays and traditions. And most religions don't just pull those holidays and traditions out of thin air--they steal them. Seriously. Look around. Does anyone honestly believe that Jesus was born on December 25? The date was an old pagan holiday that could be easily adapted to Christian purposes. Halloween is actually the Eve of All Hallows (known these days as the Feast of All Saints, celebrated November 1). The date was a pagan Celtic feast when, so I'm told, the dead would walk the earth again. It's not a far stretch from there to honoring Christian dead. The list goes on and on. So I thought, why try to invent a whole new holiday from scratch? Do what our predecessors have done--appropriate one!
It just so happens that PG's birthday falls conveniently near a commonly celebrated holiday--Valentine's day. And Valentine's day itself has a history of holiday theft. It supposedly started out as the Roman feast of Lupercalia. Later, the date was celebrated as the feast of a martyr named Valentine. Well, possibly two martyrs named Valentine. It's kind of confusing. Valentine was either a priest who performed marriages forbidden at the time by Roman law, or an imprisoned Christian who sent lots of love letters. Or both. Add in the fertility business left over from Lupercalia and you have--a day devoted to love and romance. And Peter has certainly shown a preoccupation with romantic relationships lately. What could be more appropriate?
So in honor of the day, we're giving out candy. We proudly present our Peter Gabriel Conversation Heart Server. Yes, I stole all the pictures. Some of them are from The Peter Gabriel Museum. I'd also like to thank my husband for his very kind and generous help with this project (it's "his" scanner).
(Note from Adam: Darn right it's my scanner! She came to me nice as pie, wanting to know could I scan something for her. Sure, I say, no problem. What is it? This bag of candy, she says. I nearly had a stroke. Candy--on my scanner. She said she'd make it up to me, but you know how that....um....ah......oh, my......gotta run, folks. )
And here are our PG Valentines. I meant to have more than just a few, but the visual arts aren't my strong suit. The spirit is willing, but the ability to execute the ideas is rather limited. These were the ones that worked. You can use these as digital postcards, if you like, by surfing over to The Peter Gabriel Postcard Server. Just enter the URL of the image you want to use, follow the rest of the instructions, and presto, you've got a Peter Gabriel Valentine to email to your heart throb.
Be Mine 2
Be Mine 3
Be Mine 5
So when you give your sweetheart chocolates or flowers, don't forget the true meaning of the day. It's not about making Hallmark rich--it's about honoring Peter. And not having to sleep on the porch this year (right, hon?).
Now, if we could only figure out a way to tie PG in with chocolate rabbits.