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Opinion: Love, politics, shamrocks and faith by color

Valentine’s Day Friday falls at the beginning of a three-day weekend this year. Restaurants, bars, jewelers and florists can enjoy a surge in their fortunes as couples celebrate this designated day of romance. Candy and flower sales boost the economy along with the greeting card industry that may have lagged a bit since December.

Those enjoying adult beverages, beware, as getting pinched driving under the influence will turn a dream date into an expensive nightmare.

The color red hits its yearly peak of popularity on Valentines’ Day before being mostly retired until Christmas.

Cupid, the scantily clad babe with its bow and arrow, is seen as such because, according to Wikipedia, “babies represent the combination of two people in love. In Greek mythology, his mother is Aphrodite. Cupid is the equivalent to the gods Amor and Eros, depending on which folklores are told and represented by the symbol of two hearts with an arrow piercing through them.”

May this androgynous fairy creature bring you love or recharge the love you share with your sweetheart.

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Monday is Presidents Day, a day commemorating all 45 Presidents of the United States.

Growing up, both the presidential February birthdays, the 12th for Abraham Lincoln and the 21st for George Washington, were government and school holidays.

Recently Lincoln Day observances included dinners hosted by political organizations to honor the work attributed to the 16th president.

George Washington could have been the first King of the USA, but declined because the father of our country wanted a different form of government.

To learn more about Washington, the History Channel is presenting a three-episode mini-series beginning on Monday.

“Everyone knows his name, but few know his full story,” according to The History Channel.

The biography, created by executive producer Doris Kearns Goodwin, is narrated by Jeff Daniels.

The Consolidated Presidential Primary election is on March 3.

Madera County has shifted its voting system to a vote by mail. Ballots and postage-prepaid envelopes have been sent to all registered voters. If you haven’t received your ballot yet, contact Madera County Elections Division, 200 W. 4th Street, Madera, CA 93637. Call 675-7720 or, toll-free, 800-435-0509.

Registrar of Voters Rebecca Martinez and her staff will do everything possible to assist eligible voters to cast their ballots. Voting in a free election is one of a citizen’s most valued responsibilities.

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Following the hearts and flowers and the red, white and blue of the elections, the color scheme switches to green shamrocks honoring the Irish among us. Banners and buttons proclaim that everyone has a bit of Irish blood when St. Patrick’s Day takes center stage. Green beer and corned beef and cabbage are popular cuisine.

Pastels represent the arrival of spring with chocolate bunnies, jellybean eggs and marshmallow chicks.

Easter is celebrated to commemorate the concept of Bible verse John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son, that who-so-ever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The date for Easter changes every year because it falls on a Sunday after the March 21 vernal equinox, and will always occur on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25. The Paschal full moon (the first full moon after the Spring Equinox) falls on various days in different time zones. This is also why Easter and the assorted Christian holidays leading up to Easter, including Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are known as “moveable feasts.” These holiest of days honor the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

As we say our Easter prayers, be thankful we live in a country where we are free. Free to celebrate the religious holidays and the God of our understanding. Free to enjoy the confectioneries associated with the secular aspects of the holidays any way we choose or even not at all.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a good weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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