Mother’s Day 2018

Mother's Day SSP 2018

 

Mother’s Day is not only a time to celebrate moms, it’s also steeped with tradition and amazingly fun facts. Check out our 20 fun facts about Mother’s Day.

 

Mother’s Day is steeped in tradition. Although, we may view it as “just another Hallmark Holiday” it is one of those days that we should all stop and take notice of the special woman or women in our lives that have been there for us through thick and thin. If you are a mom or have a special lady in your life, read on to discover 20 fun facts about Mother’s Day that you can use to wow and delight her – she will think you are so clever!

·         1 Historical Mother’s Day Facts

·         2 Mother’s Day Flowers

·         3 Fun Mother’s Day Facts

·         4 Strange But True Mother’s Day Facts

Historical Mother’s Day Facts

1) In Greek mythology spring festivals were held in honor of the maternal goddess called, Rhea. She was the wife of Cronus and was believed to be the mother of many deities.

2) In 250 B.C. ancient Romans celebrated a spring festival called, Hilaria. This was dedicated to a mother goddess named, Cybele, on the Ides of March. Her followers would make offerings at the temple, hold parades, play games and also have masquerades. It lasted three days.

3) In the 1600’s England, Mothering Sunday took place on the 4th Sunday of Lent. It began with a prayer service in honor of the Virgin Mary. Afterwards children would present their moms with flowers.

4) In 1870 a female activist, writer and poet by the name of Julia Ward (she wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) suggested a day of peace and strongly advocated other women to stand up against the war. From this plea she was able to get Boston to recognize mothers on the second Sunday of June.

5) Anna Jarvis was also a woman that may have been behind our traditional Mother’s Day celebration on the second Sunday of May. Anna never had any children, but wanted to carry out her own mother’s wishes of having a day just for moms. Anna tirelessly campaigned and on May 8th, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

 

Mother’s Day Flowers

6) Mother’s Day sees around one quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year falling on this holiday.

7) Carnations are very popular flowers for Mother’s Day and are thought to be made from the tears of Jesus’ mother (Mary) when she wept at his feet the day He was crucified.

8) Pink and red carnations are given to mother’s that are still alive, while white ones are for those that have passed away.

9) Studies and research now show that giving a bouquet of flowers has many positive health and psychological benefits.

Fun Mother’s Day Facts

10) In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.

11) Ancient Egyptians believed cats were sacred animals and revered ‘Bast’ as the mother of all cats on Earth.

12) In the United States alone, around 122 million phone calls are made to moms on Mother’s Day.

13) Approximately $14 billion dollars is spent on Mother’s Day.

14) What are you getting your mother this Mother’s Day? Common gifts include: cards, flowers, meals in restaurants, jewelry, gift cards, clothing, trips to a spa, books, CDs, housewares and even gardening tools.

15) In what was formerly Yugoslavia, children would tie up their mother on Mother’s Day. The only way she could get free would be to pay her children with treats.

 

Strange But True Mother’s Day Facts

16) In 1939 in Lima, Peru, the youngest mother on record delivered a baby boy by C-section. She was only 5 years-old and the baby was raised as her brother.

17) On the flip-side, the oldest woman to deliver a baby was recorded on April 9, 2003. Her name is, Satyabhama Mahapatra, and is a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher in India. She gave birth to a baby boy, which was her first child after 50 years of marriage. However, the eggs were donated by her 26 year-old niece.

18) Before Octomom (Nadya Suleman) Bobbie McCaughey had septuplets – four boys and three girls – on November 19, 1997. The babies were born via C-section after 31 weeks.

19) The shortest span between two babies is by mom, Jayne Bleackley. She gave birth to her son on September 3, 1999. Then only 208 days later gave birth to her daughter (on March 30, 2000).

20) Elizabeth Ann Buttle gives a whole new meaning to second family. She gave birth to her first child (a girl) May 19,1956. Then when she was 60 years-old, she gave birth to her son on November 20, 1997, making the babies 41 years 185 days apart.

https://osr.org/blog/tips-gifts/20-fun-facts-about-mothers-day/

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Workers Day 2018

 

Labour Day SSP 2018.jpg

On 1 May, South Africa will enjoy Worker’s Day (effectively a May Day holiday). Worker’s Day celebrates the role played by Trade Unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements in the struggle against Apartheid. 

May Day, as we know it refers to various socialist and labour movement celebrations conducted on 1 May. May Day was born from the industrial struggle for an eight-hour day.

Origins of May Day

International working classes have existed since the development of agriculture, about ten thousand years ago. Serfs, slaves, trades people and others were forced to turn over the fruits of their labour to an exploiting class. But the modern working class, whose exploitation is hidden by the wage system, is only several hundred years old. Men, women and children forced to work long hours in miserable conditions just to eke out a living.

These conditions gave rise to demands for limitations on the working day. Utopian socialist, Robert Owen of England, had raised the demand for a ten-hour day as early as 1810, and instituted it in his socialist enterprise at New Lanark. For the rest of the English workers, progress was slower. Women and children were only granted a ten-hour day in 1847.

French worker’s demand for a 12-hour day was granted after the February revolution of 1848.

In the United States, where May Day was born, Philadelphia carpenters campaigned for a ten-hour day in 1791. By the 1830s, this had become a general demand. In 1835, workers in Philadelphia organised a general strike, led by Irish coal heavers. Their banners read, “From 6 to 6, ten hours work and two hours for meals.” From 1830 to 1860, the average work day had dropped from 12 hours to 11 hours.

Already in this period, the demand for an eight-hour day was being raised. In 1836, after succeeding in attaining the ten-hour day in Philadelphia, the National Laborer declared: “We have no desire to perpetuate the ten-hour system, for we believe that eight hours’ daily labor is more than enough for any man to perform.”

At the 1863 convention of the Machinists’ and Blacksmiths’ Union, the eight-hour day was declared a top priority. The heart of the movement was in Chicago, organised mainly by the International Working Peoples’ Association.

Business and the state reacted to the rapidly growing militant movement by increasing its support to the police and the militia. Local business in Chicago purchased a $2 000 machine gun for the Illinois National Guard to use against strikers. On 3 May 1886 police fired into a crowd of striking workers, killing four and wounding many.

This uproar was carried out against the backdrop of the Civil War, which marked the abolition of slavery and the opening of the Southern states to free-labour capitalism.

A few years later, in 1872, a hundred thousand workers in New York City struck and won the eight-hour day, mostly for building trades workers. It was in this protracted campaign for an eight-hour day that May Day was born.

The movement for the eight-hour day was linked to the date of 1 May at an 1884 convention of the three-year-old Federation of Organized Trades and Labour Unions of the United States and Canada, the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor.

Five years later, in 1889 over 400 delegates met in Paris on the 100th anniversary of the French revolution at the Marxist International Socialist Congress. The congress passed a resolution calling for an international demonstration to campaign for an eight-hour day. It was resolved to hold the demonstration on 1 May 1890 in keeping with the American Federation of Labour’s 1886 demonstrations of 1 May.

The call was a resounding success. On 1 May 1890, May Day demonstrations took place in the United States and most countries in Europe. Demonstrations were also held in Chile and Peru. In Havana, Cuba, workers marched demanding an eight-hour working day, equal rights for all and working-class unity.

Although the 1889 resolution called for a once-off demonstration on 1 May, the day quickly became an annual event. Throughout the world workers in more countries marked the celebration of labourers rights on May Day.

May Day was celebrated for the first time in Russia, Brazil and Ireland in 1891. By 1904 the Second International called on all socialists and trade unionists in every country to “demonstrate energetically” annually on 1 May “for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”

Chinese workers celebrated their first May Day in 1920, following the Russian socialist revolution. In 1927, workers in India observed May Day with demonstrations in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. By that time, May Day was truly a world workers’ day.

Ironically, while May Day gained momentum across the world it lost steam in the United States where the celebration originated. Today May Day is celebrated as a public holiday throughout most countries with the exception of the United States, because of the holiday’s association with Communism.

Mayday has been celebrated unofficially in South Africa since the 1980s. However, 1 May only became an officially recognised public holiday after the democratic elections of 1994. South Africa’s mining industry’s history and the development of strong Trade Unions and communist ideologies has largely determined the country’s labour history and the workers struggle. Below are some links to important features and sources on this history

Did you know?

May Day is not only celebrated everywhere as a ‘workers day’. The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, as in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, and the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries. Many pre-Christian indigenous celebrations were eventually banned or Christianised during the process of Christianisation in Europe. As a result, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of May. Today various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on 1 May.

The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring (season), May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.

Find more information on International Labour Day on our site.

For more information on the Labour Movement in South Africa and May Day’s local history.

 

Freedom Day 2018

 

Freedom Day SSP 2018.jpg

Freedom Day on 27 April is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant because it marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.  The holding of the first non racial elections was the culmination of years of struggle and a negotiated settlement which led to the unbanning of the liberation organisations, the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles and the formal all party negotiations which drafted an interim constitution.

The moment which changed the path of South African history came after long and tension-ridden negotiations held between 1991 and 1992. The South African government, the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other liberation movements engaged in these talks.

 The 1994 election paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution for the country. The elections took place in a peaceful and festive atmosphere, though there were threats of political violence.

Of South Africa’s 22, 7 million eligible voters, 19.7 million voted in the 1994 national election. The election was won by the ANC with 62.65 % of the vote. The National Party (NP) received 20.39 %, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 10.54 %, Freedom Front (FF) 2.2 %, Democratic Party (DP) 1.7 %, Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) 1.2 % and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) 0.5 %. Although the ANC gained a majority vote, they formed the Government of National Unity, headed by the president of the ANC’s Nelson Mandela who became the first democratically elected President of the country.

Speaking at the first anniversary of South Africa’s non-racial elections President Mandela said; “As dawn ushered in this day, the 27th of April 1995, few of us could suppress the welling of emotion, as we were reminded of the terrible past from which we come as a nation; the great possibilities that we now have; and the bright future that beckons us. Wherever South Africans are across the globe, our hearts beat as one, as we renew our common loyalty to our country and our commitment to its future. The birth of our South African nation has, like any other, passed through a long and often painful process. The ultimate goal of a better life has yet to be realised. On this day, you, the people, took your destiny into your own hands. You decided that nothing would prevent you from exercising your hard-won right to elect a government of your choice. Your patience, your discipline, your single-minded purposefulness have become a legend throughout the world…”

At Freedom Day celebrations in 2008 Thabo Mbeki delivered his last speech as South Africa President: “The brutalities of the past – detentions without trial, disappearances of our people, deaths in detentions, hangings of those opposed to apartheid, imprisonment, exile, massacres, assassinations, forced removals, banishments, the Group Areas Act and many more laws that made the lives of black people unbearable – are testimonies that our freedom was never free. Although today we walk tall because our collective efforts culminated in the 27th of April being our Freedom Day, we all still carry scars that remind us that our freedom that is at times taken for granted, was never free…”

In 2009 the acting President, Kgalema Motlanthe (who took over from Mbeki) maintained “I am equally honoured to celebrate this important day on our National Calendar in the province of KwaZulu Natal. For it is also here in this beautiful land of our forefathers that the struggle for liberation was fought by generations of heroes and heroines – fearless warriors, brave students, determined workers, powerful men and women, who believed that it was their mission to bring us our freedom. And fear of death itself would not stop them. This movement took on greater strength as new generations joined them. Their only purpose was that the next generation would live to taste the fruits of freedom…”

During the 16th anniversary of Freedom Day celebrations held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria prior to  the FIFA 2010 World Cup, President Jacob Zuma paid tribute to  the brave activists that played a role in South Africa’s liberation: “On this day we remember all the brave men and women whose struggle and sacrifices made it possible for us to enjoy the benefits of democracy today. It is a day to reflect on how far we have advanced in building a new, united and democratic nation. Importantly, it is also a time to consider the extent to which the freedoms articulated in our Bill of Rights find expression in the daily lives of our people. From the ruins of a racially polarised order, we have built a nation driven by a strong commitment to the values of justice and equality. As taught by our icon President Nelson Mandela, we must remain steadfast in our determination that never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another…”

Since political freedom in 1994 South Africans have strove to correct the wrongs of the past. We are still faced with a number of challenges such as crime, poverty, unemployment, racism and sexism amongst others. Freedom Day affords South Africans the opportunity to make a pledge towards fighting against the legacy of racism and economic inequality as well as renewing their loyalty to their country and their commitment to its future.


References:

• South African History Online (1995), ‘Speech at the Freedom Day Celebrations’, 27 April [online], available at http://www.sahistory.org.za (Accessed: 23 April 2012)
• Mbeki T. (2008),
‘Mbeki’s address to Freedom Day celebrations’, from Politics Web, 27 April, [online], available at www.politicsweb.co.za (Accessed: 23 April 2012)
• International Relations & Cooperation: Republic of South Africa,
‘Address by the President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, at the Freedom Day Celebrations in Durban, 27 April 2009’, [online], available at www.dirco.gov.za (Accessed: 23 April 2012)
•  International Relations & Cooperation: Republic of South Africa,
‘Address by President Jacob Zuma at Freedom Day Celebrations, 27 April 2010’, [online], available at www.dirco.gov.za (Accessed: 23 April 2012)

 

World Health Day 2018

World Health Day SSP 2018

 

World Health Day is celebrated every year on the founding day of the World Health Organization.  Established in 1950 this event has a theme each year to draw attention to a current world health issue.  The WHO puts together regional, local, and international events on this day related to that theme.  Local governments also tend to jump on this band-wagon, after all, global health means everyone!   On this day you may take some extra steps to care for your health, consider getting a gym membership (and going!), starting a diet, or starting multi-vitamins!

Even better, get involved with the local events or organize one yourself!  Spreading the news of health and threats to the same can be an excellent way to celebrate this holiday, and inform others of the important issue of global health.  Themes throughout the years have varied, but always covered important issues of the day, covering everything from the Global Polio Eradication, staying active while aging, even road safety.  All of these issues were deemed to be important enough to global health that they merited an occasion of their very own on this date.

The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations that focuses on the public health of the world at large.  The WHO has a constitution that countries involved in the United Nations had an opportunity to sign, and unanimously did, agreeing to the tenets laid out within to promote the general health of the globe.  Through its efforts we have seen the eradication of small pox, and its focus then turned to communicable diseases, with a particular focus on tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Everyone needs to be concerned about the health of themselves and their community, and as such it’s a good time to turn your attention to this year’s theme.  By checking in at their website at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/ you can find out what the current theme is, and find all sorts of plans and activities that will help you raise awareness about this important issue.  You can keep up with it every year, and play a big part in helping to promote global health all around.

The World Health Organization has been involved in mobilizing many health efforts the world over. Describing what medicines are essential for public health, and which diseases to give a particular focus to.  The movement to eradicate smallpox started in 1958, initiated by pressure from Viktor Zhdanov, the Deputy Minister of Health for the then USSR.  In 1979, the WHO declared that smallpox had in fact been eradicated, making it the first disease in history to be eliminated by the dedicated efforts of humans.

As you can see, celebrating World Health Day is very important, and you can use it to organize fund-raisers to support local free clinics and other public health sources.  Everyone can take a hand in improving the overall health of the world, just by starting with yourself, your family, and your community.  Blood banks are often taking volunteers to help out with their efforts, and the ability to have healthy, fresh blood on hand is central to saving many lives.

You can also take the task at home, by getting to know your environment and property, and eliminate all possible sources of standing water.  Standing water is a breeding ground for insects such as mosquitos, who spread disease by consuming the blood of its hosts, and moving from victim to victim, spreading it as it goes.  So this year, take some time to spread the word about how you and your neighbours can improve the world’s health, on World Health Day!

 

 

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/world-health-day/  

World Tuberculosis Day 2018

World TB Day SSP 2018

 

Tuberculosis — or TB, as it’s commonly called — is a contagious infection that usually attacks the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, like the brain and spine. A type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it.

In the 20th century, TB was a leading cause of death in the United States. Today, most cases are cured with antibiotics. But it takes a long time. You have to take meds for at least 6 to 9 months.

How Is It Spread?

Through the air, just like a cold or the flu. When someone who’s sick coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or sings, tiny droplets that contain the germs are released. If you breathe in these nasty germs, you get infected.

TB is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch. The germs grow slowly. You usually have to spend a lot of time around a person who has it. That’s why it’s often spread among co-workers, friends, and family members.

Tuberculosis germs don’t thrive on surfaces. You can’t get the disease from shaking hands with someone who has it, or by sharing their food or drink.

How Does Tuberculosis Affect Your Body?

A TB infection doesn’t mean you’ll get sick. There are two forms of the disease:

Latent TB: You have the germs in your body, but your immune system stops them from spreading. That means you don’t have any symptoms and you’re not contagious. But the infection is still alive in your body and can one day become active. If you are at high risk for re-activation — for instance, you have HIV, your primary infection was in the last 2 years, your chest X-ray is abnormal, or you are immunocompromised — your doctor will treat you with antibiotics to lower the risk for developing active TB.  

Active TB disease: This means the germs multiply and can make you sick. You can spread the disease to others. Ninety percent of adult cases of active TB are from the reactivation of a latent TB infection.

 What Are the Symptoms of TB?

There aren’t any for latent TB. You’ll need to get a skin or blood test to find out if you’re infected.

But there are usually signs if you have active TB disease. They include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor to get tested. Get medical help right away if you have chest pain.

Who’s at Risk?

You’re more likely to get TB if you come into contact with others who have it. Here are some situations that could increase your risk:

  • A friend, co-worker, or family member has active TB disease.
  • You live or have traveled to an area where TB is common, like Russia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • You’re part of a group where TB is more likely to spread, or you work or live with someone who is. This includes homeless people, people with HIV, and IV drug users.
  • You work or live in a hospital or nursing home.

A healthy immune system fights the TB bacteria. But if you have any of the following, you might not be able to fend off active TB disease:

Babies and young children also are at greater risk, because their immune systems aren’t fully formed.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on 3/, 017

 

 

 

Human Rights Day 2018

 

Human Rights Day SSP 2018

 

 

The Bill Of Human Rights

To build a culture of human rights, it is important for every citizen to know their rights and understand their responsibilities. The Constitution protects and promotes human rights for all people in South Africa. The following is a summary of the Bill of Rights.

Equality You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.
Human Dignity Your dignity must be respected and protected.
Life You have the right to life.
Freedom and Security of the Person You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.
Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour Slavery, servitude and forced labour are not allowed.
Privacy You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched without the proper procedures being followed by the police.
Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.
Freedom of Expression All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.
Assembly, Demonstration, Picket and Petition You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.
Freedom of Association You can associate with whomever you want to.
Political Rights You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen and at least 18 years old, you can vote.
Citizenship Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.
Freedom of Movement and Residence You can go and live anywhere in South Africa.
Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession You can do whatever work you choose.
Labour Relations You may join trade unions and go on strike.
Environment You have the right to a healthy environment.
Property Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.
Housing The government must make sure people get access to proper housing.
Healthcare, Food, Water and Social Security The government must make sure you have access to food and water, healthcare and social security.
Children Children under the age of 18 have special rights.
Education You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).
Language and Culture You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.
Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Communities can enjoy their own culture, practise their own religion and use their own language.
Access to Information You have the right to any information the government has.
Just Administrative Action Actions by the government must be fair.
Access to Courts You can have a legal problem decided by a court or a similar structure.
Arrested, Detained and Accused Persons These rights protect people arrested, imprisoned or accused of a crime.

The Constitution states that the fundamental rights of all South Africans will be protected and respected. Various government bodies and institutions have been set up to ensure that rights are protected.

If your rights have been violated, you can report the matter to one of the following bodies:

South African Human Rights Commission

The SAHRC will help you if any of your human rights have been violated.

To lodge a complaint, you need to complete the online complaint form.

The SAHRC will usually not be able to help you where:

  • Your case does not involve a violation of any of the rights in the Bill of Rights.
  • Your problem happened before 27 April 1994.
  • Your case is a criminal case and you need a lawyer (in this case, please call the Legal Aid Board on 0800 110 110 or visit their offices.)
  • You have been convicted of a crime and you want to appeal.

For more information, contact the Western Cape Office:

Address: Seventh floor, ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000 Tel: 021 426 2277 Fax: 021 426 2875 E-mail: ssalie@sahrc.org.za

Independent Police Investigative Directorate

If your rights have been violated by the police, you should contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

To lodge a complaint, fill in the complaint form completely and correctly. If you are unsure about any aspect of the complaint reporting process, please follow the guidelines.

You can e-mail your complaint to complaints@ipid.gov.za or fax it to 021 949 3196.

Postal Address: Private Bag X 43, Bellville, 7535 Physical Address: First floor, Fintrust Building, Corner Petrusa and Mazzur Street, Bellville, 7530 Tel: 021 941 4800 Fax: 021 949 3196 E-mail: complaints@ipid.gov.za

Public Protector

If you want to complain about a member of a government department, you should contact the Public Protector.

If you have been unable to solve the problem by talking to the government official and their supervisor, you should write to the Public Protector. The following information should be contained in the letter:

  • The nature of your complaint.
  • The background and history of the complaint.
  • The reasons why you feel the complaint should be investigated by the Public Protector.
  • The steps you have taken to solve the problem yourself.
  • Specific details – names of officials, dates etc.
  • Copies of any correspondence between you and the officials.
  • Your contact details.

In some instances, the Public Protector may require a statement under oath before investigating.

If you need help with the complaint, you can phone the Public Protector’s Office. Read more about the Public Protector.

Postal Address: Western Cape Regional Office, PO Box 712, Cape Town, 8000 Physical Address: Fourth floor, 51 Wale Street/Bree Street, Cape Town Tel: 021 423 8644 Fax: 012 423 8708

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

If your employer has violated your rights, you should contact the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) after you have tried to sort the matter out at work.

The CCMA will:

  • Conciliate workplace disputes.
  • Arbitrate disputes that remain unresolved after conciliation.

For more information contact:

CCMA Cape Town Office Postal Address: Private Bag X9167, Cape Town, 8000 Physical Address: 78 Darling Street, Cape Town Tel: 021 469 0111 Fax: 021 465 7193/7/87/462 5006 E-mail: ctn@ccma.org.za

 

CCMA George Office Postal Address: Private Bag x6650, George, 6530 Physical Address: 62 Cathedral Street, Cathedral Square 2, George, 6529 Tel: 044 805 7700 Fax: 044 873 2906 E-mail: ctn@ccma.org.za

Commission on Gender Equality

If you were discriminated against because of your gender, you should contact the Commission on Gender Equality.

When making a complaint, you should try to provide as much information as possible. Complaints are strictly confidential.

For more information contact:

Physical Address: Fifth floor, ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8001 Tel: 021 426 4080/3 Fax: 021 424 0549

You can also lodge a complaint online. More information on lodging a complaint.

Office of the Consumer Protector

The Office of the Consumer Protector (OCP) acts as a “prosecutor” on behalf of consumers in order to bring their complaints/cases before the Consumer Tribunal, which is a special court that hears consumer complaints. There are steps to take before you lodge a complaint with the OCP.

For more information contact:

Physical Address: Ground Floor, Waldorf Arcade, 80 St George’s Mall, Cape Town, 8001 Postal Address: PO Box 979, Cape Town, 8000 Toll Free number: 0800 007 081 Fax: 021 483 5872 E-mail: consumer@westerncape.gov.za

 

 

About Listeriosis

Listeriosis SSP 2018

 

What is listeriosis? What causes listeriosis?

Listeriosis is an infection caused by a gram stain-positive motile bacterium named Listeria monocytogenes. The foodborne illness produces fever, muscle aches, and, in many people, diarrhea. Severe infections can cause headaches, meningitis, convulsions, and death. Most healthy people exposed to the bacteria have minor or no symptoms, but a few people, especially the elderly, pregnant females and their fetus, newborns, and anyone with a compromised immune system are especially susceptible to these organisms. Listeria bacteria are widespread throughout the world and are often associated with farm animals that may show no signs of infection. Research shows that many animals are uninfected carriers, and they suggest that some humans carry these organisms as part of their bowel flora. Except for pregnant women and their fetus or newborn, there is no direct transfer of Listeria from human to human.

The organisms (Listeria monocytogenes) that cause listeriosis have probably been infecting humans for centuries. Listeria was first isolated from an infected WWI soldier in 1918 and had many different names until 1940, when the genus and species names were firmly established. However, the bacteria were first recognized as a food-borne (food poisoning) pathogen in 1979. The bacteria can penetrate human cells and can multiply inside them. People with altered or impaired immune systems have cells that are less able to control the spread of these organisms into the blood or into other cells. In 2010, a known species, Listeria ivanovii, thought only to infect cattle, was found to infect humans so there are two Listeria species that can infect humans.

Outbreaks of listeriosis can occur with some frequency. For example, in 2017, soft raw milk cheese was a source of an outbreak (Vulto Creamery). In this outbreak, eight people were infected and two died. Other recalls of products in 2017 include 3 tons of cheese for possible Listeria contamination (La Nica Products INC.), macadamia nuts (Simple Truth brand), Ava’s Organic Cashews, and Queso Fresco cheese, for the same problem.

What are the risk factors for listeriosis?

The major risk factor for getting listeriosis is eating or drinking foods and liquids contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Foods and liquids that have been contaminated with animal feces or soil are the most frequently identified sources for these organisms. Drinking inadequately treated or unpasteurized liquids, especially milk products, is another source of infection.

Some individuals have an increased risk for getting listeriosis. In general, people with an altered or damaged immune system have a higher risk of getting listeriosis and its more severe complications. Specifically, people at much higher risk include pregnant females, newborns, the elderly, diabetics, cancer patients, AIDS patients, patients with kidney diseases, alcoholics, and those patients undergoing any immune-suppression therapy. Most individuals who get severe infections and/or die from listeriosis have one or more of the medical problems listed above.

Is Listeria contagious?

The bacteria are not contagious from person to person in most instances. The one exception is that a pregnant woman can transfer the bacteria to the fetus or the newborn. 

How is listeriosis spread?

Listeriosis is mainly a food-borne disease; except in the situation in which a pregnant woman can transfer the bacteria to the fetus or newborn, the disease is not contagious from person to person.

Foods that have been associated with Listeria outbreaks are many (for example, soft cheeses, yogurt, apples, smoked seafood, deli meats, hot dogs, fruits, and vegetables). There have been many outbreaks of the disease over the world; an event occurred in Texas in October 2010, tentatively related to locally processed celery; 10 people were diagnosed with listeriosis and five died. Most people infected had underlying medical problems or conditions. In 2011, approximately 146 people got infected from Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes and about 32 people died. In February 2012, over 1 million eggs were recalled after several processed in a processing plant were found to be contaminated with Listeria. The eggs were sold under the brand names of Columbia Valley Farms, GFS, Glenview Farms, Papetti’s, Silverbrook, and Wholesome Farms. The egg brands were sold in 34 states. The year 2015 had at least three outbreaks of listeriosis. Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, Calif., produced apples that eventually were determined to be contaminated with the bacteria. The organisms were first noticed in apples that were caramel coated. Hummus produced by the Sabra Dipping Company was recalled (30,000 cases of hummus) because the food was found to be contaminated with Listeria. Also in 2015, the very popular brand of ice cream, Blue Bell, caused a serious outbreak of listeriosis. The company shut down its facilities in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas to rid them of Listeria. During the outbreak, 10 individuals were hospitalized and three died. In 2016, CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington, recalled 11 frozen vegetable products because of Listeria contamination. Nine people were hospitalized and three died during this outbreak to date. Unfortunately, this outbreak is complicated by the fact that some of the vegetable products in the recall date back as far as 2014. Individuals who have stored frozen CRF products that date back as far as 2014 need to get rid of the potentially contaminated frozen products, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Problems with products in 2017 are listed above.

What are listeriosis symptoms and signs?

  • Fever, muscle aches, and occasionally, gastroenteritis (nausea and/or diarrhea) are the usual symptoms associated with listeriosis.
  • Some individuals may also experience fatigue and a decrease or loss of appetite.
  • These symptoms usually last up to one week and may spontaneously resolve.

However, in some people, the organisms can spread to the brain.

What is the incubation period for Listeria?

The incubation period between exposure and symptoms is quite variable (three to 70 days, with 21 days as average) and may extend up to about two months or more according to some reports.

Pregnant women who are otherwise healthy usually have only minor symptoms. However, being infected with Listeria during pregnancy often cause problems for the fetus:

  • miscarriage,
  • stillbirth,
  • premature birth, or
  • cause infection and,
  • potentially, death of newborns.

Breastfeeding in humans has not been shown to transmit the bacteria to newborns; however, animal studies show the organisms are transferred in breast milk of other mammalian species. Researchers consider it is theoretically possible for the organisms to be transmitted in human breast milk.

Occasionally, localized skin infections may occur, especially in people who handle animals that are infected with Listeria. These skin infections rarely lead to further complications such as brain infection.

How long does a Listeria infection last?

Normal healthy people who become infected with Listeria usually recover from the infection. However, more serious infections that require antibiotic treatment may last longer. For example, if abscesses develop in the brain, the antibiotic therapy will be required for about six weeks.

What types of doctors treat listeriosis?

Although primary-care physicians can treat listeriosis, other specialists may be involved, especially if the illness is serious. Other specialists such as infectious-disease, critical-care, and OB/GYN physicians, especially if a woman is pregnant, are likely to be consulted. In those patients who are immunosuppressed, physicians that are treating the cause of the immunosuppression should also be consulted.

How do health care professionals diagnose listeriosis?

Preliminary diagnosis is usually based on the patient’s clinical history and physical exam, especially after the patient gives a history of likely exposure to a contaminated food source during a Listeria outbreak. Without this information, the diagnosis is difficult to sort out from many other diseases; this situation may result in a delay of treatment as the physician may do other tests to rule out other diseases such as salmonellosis, shigellosis, botulism and E. coli infections. Definitive diagnosis of listeriosis is by culturing Listeria monocytogenes bacteria from the patient’s blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or amniotic fluid, usually on a medium that is selective for Listeria (for example, RAPID’L mono agar). Currently, no reliable tests are available to detect the bacteria in the stool; also, there are no reliable serological tests available (blood tests that can identify specific proteins associated with the bacteria or antibodies to the bacteria) according to the CDC. 

What is the treatment for listeriosis?

The majority of people with Listeria infections spontaneously clear the infection in about seven days. However, those patients at increased risk, especially pregnant women, usually require immediate IV antibiotic treatment to prevent, halt, or slow the development of more severe disease. For example, early effective antibiotic treatment of pregnant females may be lifesaving for the fetus.

In general, the length of antibiotic treatment increases with the severity of the infection. Meningitis is treated for three weeks while brain abscesses are treated for six weeks. The initial choice of antibiotics is usually IV ampicillin. Bactrim (trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole) also has been used successfully. However, each patient’s treatment should be individualized for optimal results; many clinicians recommend an infectious-disease consultant be involved, and if the patient is pregnant, her obstetrician and a pediatric specialist should help manage the treatment plan.

Are there home remedies for listeriosis?

There are no over-the-counter diagnostic tests for listeriosis, so it will be difficult or impossible to know if you are infected with Listeria; that makes it difficult to decide if you can treat the problem at home. Because listeriosis can be fatal in about 20%-30% of those who develop the disease, home remedies may be a dangerous option without consulting a physician. However, there are suggestions to try, like activated charcoal, syrup of ipecac, garlic, and/or alcohol-free goldenseal to treat food poisoning in general. However, before trying any of these options, you should discuss them first with your doctor.

 

How does a person get listeriosis?

The majority of people who get listeriosis have consumed Listeria-contaminated foods. Because the bacteria are often found in both soil and water, cultivated foods like vegetables can easily become contaminated, especially from fertilizer or animal waste. Listeria has been found in many types of raw food (even seafood) but especially in meats, vegetables, and cheeses. It has even been found in processed foods because of contamination during or after processing. After the contaminated food or fluid has been ingested, it may take up to three weeks for the organisms to cause symptoms.

The fetus may become infected after the mother ingests the organisms; the bacteria apparently reach the fetus via the bloodstream. Newborn infants can acquire the bacteria during a cesarean procedure or be exposed to them while traversing the vagina.

What are the complications of listeriosis?

The major complications of listeriosis include

  • blood infection (septicemia/bacteremia),
  • meningitis and/or encephalitis,
  • brain abscesses,
  • seizures,
  • miscarriage,
  • premature birth,
  • neonatal sepsis (potentially fatal),
  • stillbirth, and
  • death.

 

Is it possible to prevent listeriosis?

Yes, listeriosis can be prevented. The CDC recommends the following food safety measures:

General recommendations:

  • Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry.
  • Wash raw vegetables thoroughly (scrub with a clean produce brush in uncontaminated running water) before eating.
  • Keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables and from cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods.
  • Consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

Here are food safety recommendations for people at high risk, such as pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, in addition to the recommendations listed above:

  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Avoid getting fluid from hot-dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces, and wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deli meats.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna or mackerel, is most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” The fish is found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.
  • Avoid cross-contaminating other foods, utensils, and food-preparation surfaces with fluid from hot-dog packages, and wash hands after handling hot dogs.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk. Cheeses that may be eaten include hard cheeses, semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella, pasteurized processed cheeses such as slices and spreads, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.

There is no commercially available vaccine to protect against infection by Listeria.

If a person has eaten recalled food potentially contaminated with Listeria, what should he or she do?

The CDC recommends the following to all people. If the person has no symptoms, they recommend no tests or treatment be done. However, if the person is in a high-risk group (see risk factor section above), they recommend contacting the person’s physician only if the person develops fever or signs of serious illness within two months of eating the food. The CDC makes these conservative suggestions based on the fact that the chance of developing Listeria infection, even after ingestion of a contaminated product, is very small.

However, people in the high-risk groups should have no delays in contacting their doctor if they suspect symptoms of listeriosis are developing. 

For more info on the topic please visit the following links:

http://www.kayafm.co.za/health-alert-what-is-listeriosis/

https://www.enca.com/south-africa/explainer-what-is-listerosis

Relationships

Relationship Help

Building Satisfying Relationships that Last

Relationships SSP 2018

 

A healthy, secure romantic relationship can be an ongoing source of support and happiness in life. It can strengthen all aspects of your wellbeing, from your physical and mental health to your work and connections with others. However, a relationship that isn’t supportive can be a tremendous drain on you emotionally. Love and relationships take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change with your partner. Whether you’re looking to keep a healthy relationship strong or repair a relationship on the rocks, these tips can help you build a caring and lasting union.

How to strengthen your relationship and make love last

For most people, falling in love usually seems to just happen. It’s preserving that “falling in love” experience that requires commitment and work. Given its rewards, though, it’s well worth the effort. By taking steps now to preserve or rekindle your falling in love experience, you can build a meaningful relationship that lasts—even for a lifetime.

What makes a healthy love relationship?

Everyone’s relationship is unique, and people come together for many different reasons. But there are some things that good relationships have in common. Knowing the basic principles of healthy relationships helps keep them meaningful, fulfilling and exciting in both happy times and sad.

Staying connected with each other. Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each other and working together. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be there.

Don’t be afraid of (respectful) disagreement. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to be safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation or insisting on being right.

Keeping outside relationships and interests alive. Despite the claims of romantic fiction or movies, no one person can meet all of your needs. In fact, expecting too much from your partner can put unhealthy pressure on the relationship. To stimulate and enrich your romantic relationship, it’s important to preserve connections with family and friends and maintain hobbies and interests outside of the relationship as well.

Open and honest communication. Good communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears, and desires, trust and bonds are strengthened. A big part of good communication is nonverbal cues. For a relationship to work well, each person has to understand their own and their partner’s nonverbal cues or “body language.”

Tip 1: Spend quality time together

You fall in love looking at and listening to each other. If you continue to look and listen in the same attentive ways, you can sustain the falling in love experience over the long term. You probably have fond memories of when you were first dating your loved one. Everything seemed new and exciting, and you likely spent hours just chatting together or coming up with new, exciting things to try. However, as time goes by, the demands of work, family, other obligations, and the need we all have for time to ourselves can make it harder to find time together.

Many couples find that the face-to-face contact of their early dating days is gradually replaced by hurried texts, emails, and instant messages. While digital communication is great for some purposes, it doesn’t positively impact your brain and nervous system in the same way as face-to-face communication. The emotional cues you both need to feel loved can only be conveyed in person, so no matter how busy life gets, it’s important to carve out time to spend together.

Do things together that benefit others

One the most powerful ways of staying close and connected is to jointly focus on something you and your partner value outside of the relationship. Volunteering for a cause, project, or community work that has meaning for both of you can keep a relationship fresh and interesting. It can also expose you both to new people and ideas, offer the chance to tackle new challenges together, and provide fresh ways of interacting with each other.

As well as helping to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, doing things to benefit others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to help others. The more you help, the happier you’ll feel-as individuals and as a couple.

Simple ways to connect as a couple and rekindle love

  • Commit to spending some quality time together every day on a regular basis. Even during the busiest times, just a few minutes of really sharing and connecting can help keep bonds strong.
  • Find something that you enjoy doing together, whether it is a shared hobby, dance class, daily walk, or sitting over a cup of coffee in the morning.
  • Try something new together. Doing new things together can be a fun way to connect and keep things interesting. It can be as simple as trying a new restaurant or going on a day trip to a place you’ve never been before.

Tip 2: Keep physical intimacy alive

Touch is a fundamental part of human existence. Studies on infants have shown the importance of regular, affectionate physical contact on brain development. And the benefits don’t end in childhood. Affectionate contact boosts the body’s levels of oxytocin, a hormone that influences bonding and attachment.

 

Tips to Improve Your Sex Life: Enjoy More Fulfilling Sex

While physical intercourse is often a cornerstone of a committed relationship, it shouldn’t be the only method of physical intimacy. Frequent, affectionate touch—holding hands, hugging, kissing—is equally important.

Be sensitive to what your partner likes. Unwanted touching or inappropriate overtures can make the other person tense up and retreat—exactly what you don’t want.

Tip 3: Stay connected through communication

Good communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. When people stop communicating well, they stop relating well, and times of change or stress can really bring out disconnect. As long as you are communicating, you can work through whatever problem you’re facing.

Tell your partner what you need, don’t make them guess.

It’s not always easy to talk about what you need. Even when you’ve got a good idea of what’s important to you in a relationship, talking about it can make you feel vulnerable, embarrassed, or even ashamed. But look at it from your partner’s point of view. Providing comfort and understanding to someone you love is a pleasure, not a burden. So tell your partner what you need. And remember, everyone changes over time. What you needed from your partner five years ago may be different from what you need now.

Take note of your partner’s nonverbal cues

So much of our communication is transmitted by what we don’t say. Nonverbal cues-eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures such as leaning forward, crossing your arms, or touching someone’s hand-communicate much more than words. For a relationship to work well, each person has to understand their own and their partner’s nonverbal cues or “body language.”

Think about what you are transmitting as well, and if what you say matches your body language. If you say “I’m fine,” but you clench your teeth and look away, then your body is clearly signaling you are anything but “fine.”

When you experience positive emotional cues from your partner, you feel safe and happy, and when you send positive emotional cues, your loved one feels the same. When you stop taking an interest in your own or your partner’s emotions, your ability to communicate will suffer, especially at stressful times.

Question your assumptions

 

Effective Communication: Improving Communication Skills

If you’ve known each other for a while, you may assume that your partner has a pretty good idea of what you are thinking and what you need. However, your partner is not a mind-reader. While your partner may have some idea, it is much healthier to express your needs directly to avoid any confusion. Your partner may sense something, but it might not be what you need. What’s more, people change, and what you needed and wanted five years ago, for example, may be very different now. Getting in the habit of expressing your needs helps you weather difficult times, which otherwise may lead to increasing resentment, misunderstanding and anger.

Tip 4: Learn to give and take in your relationship

If you expect to get what you want 100% of a time in a relationship, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Healthy relationships are built on compromise. However, it takes work on each person’s part to make sure that there is a reasonable exchange.

Recognize what’s important to your partner

Knowing what is truly important to your partner can go a long way towards building goodwill and an atmosphere of compromise. On the flip side, it’s also important for your partner to recognize your wants and for you to state them clearly. Constantly giving to others at the expense of your own needs builds resentment and anger.

Don’t make “winning” your goal

If you approach your partner with the attitude that things have to be your way or else, it will be difficult to reach a compromise. Sometimes this attitude comes from not having your needs met while younger, or it could be years of accumulated resentment in the relationship reaching a boiling point. It’s alright to have strong convictions about something, but your partner deserves to be heard as well. You are more likely to get your needs met if you respect what your partner needs, and compromise when you can.

Learn how to respectfully resolve conflict

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but to keep a relationship strong, both people need to feel they’ve been heard. The goal is not to win but to resolve the conflict with respect and love.

  • Make sure you are fighting fair.
  • Don’t attack someone directly but use “I” statements to communicate how you feel.
  • Don’t drag old arguments into the mix.
  • Keep the focus on the issue at hand and respect the other person.

 

Conflict Resolution Skills: Turn Conflicts into Opportunities

Tip 5: Be prepared for ups and downs

It’s important to recognize that there are ups and downs in every relationship. You won’t always be on the same page. Sometimes one partner may be struggling with an issue that stresses them, such as the death of a close family member. Other events, like job loss or severe health problems, can affect both partners and make it difficult to relate to each other. You might have different ideas of managing finances or raising children. Different people cope with stress differently, and misunderstanding can rapidly turn to frustration and anger.

Relationship advice for getting through life’s ups and downs

  • Don’t take out your problems on your partner. Life stresses can make us short tempered. If you are coping with a lot of stress, it might seem easier to vent with your partner, and even feel safer to snap at him or her. Fighting like this might initially feel like a release, but it slowly poisons your relationship. Find other ways to vent your anger and frustration.
  • Some problems are bigger than both of you. Trying to force a solution can cause even more problems. Every person works through problems and issues in his or her own way. Remember that you’re a team. Continuing to move forward together can get you through the rough spots.
  • Be open to change. Change is inevitable in life, and it will happen whether you go with it or fight it. Flexibility is essential to adapt to the change that is always taking place in any relationship, and it allows you to grow together through both the good times and the bad.

If you need outside help for relationship problems

Sometimes problems in a relationship may seem too complex or overwhelming for you to handle as a couple. In that case, it’s important to reach out together for help. Available options include:

Couples counseling. Both partners need to honestly communicate what they need, face the issues that arise in counseling, and then make the necessary changes. It’s also very important that both people feel comfortable with the counselor.

Individual therapy. Sometimes, one partner may need specialized help. For example, if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, you may need counseling to help process the grief. If your loved one needs help, don’t feel like you’re a failure for not providing everything he or she needs. No one can fulfill everyone’s needs, and getting the right help can make a huge difference to your relationship.

Spiritual advice. Advice from a religious figure such as a pastor or rabbi works best if both partners have similar convictions of faith and a good relationship with the spiritual advisor.

Emotional Intelligence building. Helpguide’s free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit provides articles, videos, and audio meditations designed to help you put the skills of emotional intelligence and communication into practice.

 

Resources and references

What is a Healthy Relationship? – A succinct checklist of the characteristics of healthy relationships. (Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence)

Am I in a Healthy Relationship? – Article aimed at teens to determine if your relationship is as healthy as it should be. (Kids Health)

Love is Not All You Need – Learn about the importance of listening, teamwork, and flexibility in making a relationship work. (Psychology Today)

What Research Tells Us About the Most Successful Relationships – Review what research studies reveal about what makes a relationship successful. (Lifehacker)

 

Valentines Day 2018

Valentines Day SSP 2018

 

Valentine’s Day Facts

1.)The day is celebrated as the commemorative day of Saint Valentine. The interesting fact is it is not certain whether this is one specific person, or the group of 14 martyred saints of ancient Rome, all of the same name.

2.) The Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes were introduced in 1868 by Richard Cadbury.

3.) Some popular symbols of love used to express the feelings are cupid, arrows, doves, love birds, roses, and hearts.

4.) Pope Gelasius I of Rome declared Saint Valentine’s burial day as the Valentine’s Day, in 496 AD.

5.)The girls during medieval times used to eat strange food items, as it was believed that by doing so they would dream of their future spouse or lover.

6.) The Saint to whom the day has been dedicated brought nothing romantic to be attached to the day. However, the earliest association of Valentine’s Day with romance goes to the credit of great writer Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in his Parlement of Foules, 1382,”For this was on seynt Volantynys day, Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make”, and hence beginning the tradition.

7.) During 19th century, physicians would prescribe chocolates to their patients, who would pine for a lost love.

8.) The cops of Saudi Arabia banned the sale of anything red or symbolizing love in 2002 and 2008, believing that this is a Christian festival, resulting in a black market of Valentine’s Day gifts in 2008, which witnessed an even bigger number of customers.

9.) Apart from lovers, spouses, and sweethearts, the other people who receive maximum number of flowers, cards and gifts on the day are, mothers and teachers.

10.) The University of Maryland, educates the masses and media about the Valentine’s day, through its academic experts.

11.)We all have heard the phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve”, but the phrase has actually come from Middle Ages, when according to a popular tradition, young men and women would draw chits from a bowl, to know the names of their valentines and then, would wear that name on their sleeve for the entire week.

12.) The day is also a great day for the beloved pets of many families, as it has been surveyed that people, in huge numbers, bring gifts for their pets also on Valentine’s Day.

13.) The famous gifts and cards company Hallmark, launched its first valentine product in 1913

14.) The Medieval concept of Courtly Love, where male lover would court and praise the beloved through chivalrous deeds and poetry, descended from the ancient traditions associated with Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Fun Facts

The age old occasion of celebrating the fervor of love dates back to the festival of Lupercalia. Since then, Valentine’s Day have been able to caught the attention of couples who want to celebrate this day n the best manner possible. Read to find out.

  1. Reports indicate that more than 36 million chocolates boxes which are heart shaped gets sold on the eve of Valentine’s Day.
  2. Although, women are generally excited about this romantic day, men too spend quite a lot to make their partners happy.
  3. Studies depicts that this Valentine’s Day shall witness a total of 8 billion candies shaped in the form of hearts.
  4. It was found out that more than 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are being exchanged each year to celebrate the fervor of love. Valentine’s Day is the second largest card sending occasions, the first one being Christmas when the card makers earn the maximum revenue from one and all.
  5. A total of 50 billion roses are brought to exchange them between the lovers.
  6. Women in Japan are expected to buy chocolates for men on Valentine’s Day. This weird tradition dates back to a marketing campaign by a famous Japanese chocolate company. As a gesture of good faith, all men who had received the chocolates from these women are expected to buy chocolates for them on March 14th.
  7. They say if you are a woman and you see a flying robin on Valentine’s Day, it is likely that you will marry a sailor. In case, you see a flying sparrow then you would marry a poor but a happy man. If it was goldfinch, then your luck is about to shine because there is a millionaire waiting for you. Now, don’t go around hunting birds on trees!
  8. Back in medieval days, there was a tradition which made young men and women write their names on a little piece of paper and drop them in a bowl on February 14. Later, men would pick names from the bowl kept for women and wear the chosen name on their sleeves; an indication for the woman to be their valentine. Now you know what it means, when someone says,” To wear your heart on your sleeve”. This famous tradition is still practiced by many in different corners of the world where Valentine’s Day is celebrated within young men and women to spot their valentines.
  9. This is perhaps the funniest of all. The story goes that, around 5% American women are in the habit of sending flowers to themselves on the eve of Valentine’s Day. It was told that a total of 198 million red roses were especially produced to meet the demand for red roses for Valentine’s Day. A rose is meant to define a woman’s likeliness and defines the feminine spirit too.

Other Related Valentine’s Day Facts

1.) Mother’s day and valentine’s day are the two biggest occasions on which flowers are given.

2.) Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine.

3.) In Finland Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into “Friend’s day”.

4.) In Slovenia, a proverb says that “St Valentine brings the keys of roots”, so on February 14, plants and flowers start to grow.

5.) In some Latin American countries Valentine’s Day is known as “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship

6.) In Korea, the custom is if you do not receive any gift on Valentine’s Day, then you, along with all the singles, go to Korean restaurants and eat black noodles to mourn their single status.

Valentine Cards

1.) Every year around 1 billion Valentine cards are sent across. After Christmas it’s a single largest seasonal card-sending occasion.

2.) Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children between ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and fagmily members. Valentine

Flowers/Roses

1.) Received Valentine Flowers? Well I guess you are a woman. Of the 73% of people who buy Valentine’s Day flowers are men, while only 27 percent are women.

2.) A single perfect red rose framed with baby’s breath is named by some florists as a “signature rose,” and is the preferred choice for most for giving on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays.

3.) The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The color red stands for strong romantic feelings making the red rose the flower of love.

Cupid

1.) Cupid is a symbol of Valentine’s Day. Cupid was associated with Valentine’s Day because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards and gift tokens holding a bow and arrows as he is believed to use magical arrows to arouse feelings of love.

Love Letters and Poems

Refer:( Valentine Love Letters)

1.) Verona, the Italian city where Shakespeare’s play lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters every year sent to Juliet on Valentine’s Day.

2.) The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C.

Wear your Heart on your Sleeve

1.) In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew the names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned on their sleeves for one week. This was done so that it became easy for other people to know their true feelings. This was known as “to wear your heart on your sleeve”

Valentine Gifts

1.) On February 14th, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Valentine’s Day in Wales. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite Valentine decorations on the wooden spoons. This Valentine decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”

2.) The most beautiful and incredible gift of love is the monument Taj Mahal in India. Built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife; it stands as the emblem of the eternal love story. Work on the Taj Mahal began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years and required the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.

3.) In America, the pilgrims used to send confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their affianced. Lot of value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare product, sugar. After the late 1800’s, beet sugar became widely used and more available and sweet gifts continued to be cherished and enjoyed.

4.) Amongst the earliest Valentine’s Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.

The Valentine Heart

1.) The heart is associated to Valentine’s Day as it is considered the source of all human emotions. The custom of drawing a heart shape is supposed to have come from early attempts to draw an organ that no one had seen. The symbol came on to become as a sign of love.

2.) The heart has been the most common figure of romantic love over the decades. Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. The heart may be linked with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the goal of Eros, known as Cupid to the Romans. Anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is also closely linked to love, its red color is considered as most romantic.

Birds

1.) Lovebirds are often associated with Valentine’s Day. These lovebirds found in Africa, are brightly colored and sit very close together with their mates, earning them their name.

2.) Doves are also part of the Valentine tradition. These birds are symbols of love and loyalty because they mate for life. A pair of doves will also share the care of all their babies.

3.) In olden times some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on the Valentine’s Day; it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

Love Knots

1.) A love knot is a symbol of undying love, as its twisting loops have no beginnings or ends. In olden times, they were made of ribbon or drawn on paper to prove one’s eternal love.

 

2.) So friends now that we know the Valentine day facts, start your shopping today and express your love to your sweetheart. Happy Valentine’s Day!