Valentine’s Day! Everyone has a different perspective on this day. Some look at it with lots of “hearts”💕 in their eyes. And some look at it as a marketing technique 💸. Some wait for this day, and some lonely hearts get lonelier. Different people look at this day differently. But what exactly is the reason for the importance of this day? Why does this day exist? Why does even history have some marks of this day on its pages? What is the reality of this day that makes it so fascinating for everyone? Well, let’s find out together.
Valentine’s Day As A Social Custom
Valentine’s Day has become a widely recognised social custom. We celebrate it annually on February 14th in many countries around the world. As per a basic definition, this holiday is a way to express love and affection to those closest to us. We celebrate it to commemorate love and affection between intimate companions. Typically, romantic partners, but also friends and family members. The celebration of Valentine’s Day has evolved over time. But, it remains an important cultural tradition and a day to show appreciation and affection.
Valentine’s Day is now celebrated in a variety of ways. Including: giving gifts such as flowers, chocolates, and jewelry, sending greeting cards, and going on special dates. The holiday has also become a major commercial event, with retailers offering special products and services such as romantic meals, spa packages, and travel deals etc.
Despite its commercialization, Valentine’s Day remains an important holiday for many people. It offers an opportunity to strengthen relationships and create lasting memories. The holiday continues to be a celebration of love and affection, and a way to show those closest to us how much they mean to us.
Origin & History Of Valentine’s Day
This holiday has a rich history, dating back to the ancient Roman Empire.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is a pagan festival called Lupercalia. Romans celebrated it in mid-February. The festival honoured Juno Februata, the goddess of love and fertility, and included the exchange of love notes and gifts. It was dedicated to the Roman agricultural god Faunus.
In the 3rd century (313 AD), the Roman Empire became Christianized. And in the late 5th century A.D., Pope Gelasius eliminated the pagan festival, Lupercalia, and replaced it with a Christian one. Now, it was Valentine’s Day that we celebrate today!
Saint Valentine and Emperor Claudius II Gothicus
The story of Saint Valentine and Emperor Claudius II has become an important part of the cultural history of Valentine’s Day. It symbolises the power of love and devotion over political oppression. Although 20th-century historians believe that the historical accuracy of this story is uncertain. Despite that, it remains an important part of the cultural celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day, and the holiday became associated with love and romance. According to legend, Saint Valentine, a Christian priest, defied the emperor’s edict. He performed secret marriages for young lovers in ancient Rome. It was the time when Emperor Claudius II Gothicus banned marriages in order to have more soldiers for his army. Later on February 14, year 269, Saint Valentine was imprisoned and later executed for his actions. He was 43 years old and people remember him for his acts of love and devotion ever since.
Present Of Valentine’s Day
Over time, the holiday evolved and became associated with love and romance. Particularly in the 14th and 15th centuries, when the tradition of courtly love flourished in Europe. The holiday became widely recognised and celebrated throughout the Western world. And it continues to be a popular celebration of love to this day.
The Moral of Valentine’s Day
The Moral of Valentine’s Day can be interpreted in various ways, but one common theme is the celebration of love and affection. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show those closest to us how much we care about them. And to express our love and appreciation for their presence in our lives. Whether it’s through insignificant gestures or grand romantic gestures, the holiday is a reminder of the importance of love and connection in our lives.
Another moral of Valentine’s Day is the importance of selflessness and sacrifice. The story of Saint Valentine highlights the idea of putting the needs and happiness of others before one’s own. This selflessness and sacrifice is a powerful message that can apply to all aspects of our lives. Not just our romantic relationships.
Future Of Valentine’s Day
Looking to the future, Valentine’s Day will probably continue to be a celebration of love and affection. However, it may evolve to become more inclusive, encompassing love and affection between friends, family members, and other loved ones. With the rise of digital communication and technology, new traditions and ways of celebrating may emerge.
Fun Things To Do For Valentine’s Day?
You can try many fun things on Valentine’s Day! The ideas are countless. But let’s look at some of the most interesting and romantic ones here:
- A Romantic Dinner: Cook a special meal or go to a restaurant for a romantic dinner. Appreciate your partner’s efforts in the relationship and make him/her feel special.
- A Movie Night: Choose a romantic movie or create a cosy movie night at home with popcorn and blankets. Enjoy this night with the warmth of your partner’s love and care.
- A Couples’ Activity: Take a cooking class, go wine tasting, or try couple yoga. Do something that you have not done before. It can be skydiving, hot air ballooning, or bungee jumping as well.
- Write Love Letters: Love letters might seem old-fashioned, but the memories and feelings attached to them will never change. Experience the amazement when you create memories with your own hands. Write love confessions or just simple letters to each other and exchange them on Valentine’s Day.
- A Spa Day: Relax and pamper each other with a couples’ spa day. Enjoy facials or full-body care routines for couples. Try to relax your body and mind. Make this a meditation for today’s happiness.
- Volunteer: There cannot be anything better than sharing your happiness with others. Volunteering will help you feel the warmth of others on this loving day.
- A Photo Album: Print and put together a photo album or make a slideshow of cherished memories. Decorate it with the items that you care about. Make it special so that every time you hold it, you will automatically remember this day.
- Galentine’s Day Brunch: Treat yourself to a delicious brunch on Galentine’s Day, February 13th, or Valentine’s Day Eve! Celebrate the holiday with food, drinks, and lots of laughter.
- Movie Marathon: This is an excellent time to watch your favourite romantic comedies and have a movie marathon with your friends.
- Cooking Class: Take a cooking class together and see how competitive you can get with your pals in your kitchen! Of course, you will need a lot of luck with it too.
- DIY Crafts: Get creative with a DIY craft project! You can make friendship bracelets or create a scrapbook of your favourite memories together.
- Game Night: Nothing is better than a competitive match of video games and/or board games or cards. It will be the best time to forget about the decibel levels and completely immerse in the gaming!
- Volunteer: Give back to the community by volunteering together at a local organization. It will make your celebration even more meaningful and memorable as well.
- Karaoke Night: Sing your hearts out at a karaoke night with your friends and show off your vocal skills. This can be the time for you to shine!
- Adventure: Have an adventure, such as rock climbing, hiking, or going to an amusement park.
- Family Dinner: Have a family dinner and cook a meal together. Share stories, make memories, and get closer to your family. Let this day be a day for your family!
- Baking: Bake sweet treats together with your loved ones. Make cute-shaped cookies, Valentine’s Day cake, or anything else that you like!
- Crafts: Share the memories with Valentine’s Day crafting. Try making homemade cards or decorating the house with DIY décor that can become a lovely memory in the future.
- Family Game Night: Have a family game night with your family! Gather everyone and play board games, video games, or cards together to enjoy the thrill of gaming!
- Movie Night: Pick a classic romantic film and have a cosy movie night at home. Some nostalgic movies for Valentine’s Day would be a perfect idea!
- Nature Walk: Sometimes a simple gesture can do more than you imagine! Simply take some time and take a nature walk with your family! Enjoy the beauty of nature and appreciate each other’s company!
- Family Sports Day: Have a family sports day, whether it’s playing basketball, soccer, or any other sport you all enjoy. Make it suitable for both children and the elderly.
- Volunteer: Volunteering together can elicit a wide range of emotions and memories. This can be a time when you, as a family, donate happiness to other families.
- Talent Show: Every family member will have their own style, taste, and talent. Have a family talent show to showcase everyone’s unique skills and talents. Share the laughter of silliness and the warmth of amazement at this moment.
Fun Facts of Valentine’s Day That Will Surprise You
Now that we know the history and traditions of this day, let’s explore some exciting fun Valentine’s Day facts that might surprise you:
- The first recorded Valentine’s Day love letter was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
- As per the analysis, people exchange nearly 150 million Valentine’s Day cards annually, making it the second-largest card-sending holiday after Christmas.
- The symbol of the heart is commonly associated with love and romance. However, it was inspired by the shape of the silphium plant, which was used as a contraceptive in ancient Greece in the 6th century CE.
- In Japan, it is common for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, but the tradition is reversed on White Day, which is celebrated on March 14th.
- In the Middle Ages, young men would draw the names of women from a box to determine their romantic partner for the year on Valentine’s Day.
- In medieval France and England, they believed that the first person you saw on Valentine’s Day would become your spouse.
- The first box of chocolates specifically marketed for Valentine’s Day was created in the late 19th century by Richard Cadbury.
- The largest Valentine’s Day celebration in the world takes place in the Philippine capital of Manila. Where the day is known as “Araw ng mga Puso” or “Day of Hearts.”
- Valentine’s Day is popularly known in Finland as “Ystävänpäivä,” which translates to “Friend’s Day.” English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first known person to record St. Valentine’s Day as a romantic celebration day in his 1375th poem. “Parliament of Foules.” This 1340–1400th poem had 700 lines. The reference was: “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”
Valentine’s Day From Uninterested People’s Prospective
While the lover’s perspective of this day would always be lovely. But there are a good number of people who are fairly uninterested in the official celebration of this holiday. For them, it might be just another excuse for overspending, or they sometimes view it as a commercial gimmick as well.
Valentine’s Day is a busy time for businesses that sell flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and other gifts. This is the time when marketers jump into the market for the sake of business. Retailers also see an increase in sales of cards, decorations, and other items related to the holiday. The holiday has become a major event in the retail and advertising industries. With many companies using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to market their products and services. This may be a special day, in its essence. But for the average person, the over-exaggerated marketing strategies and excessive marketing can cause a lack of interest as well.
Pros And Cons Of Valentine’s Day
Pros of Valentine’s Day:
- Celebration of Love and Affection: Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to express love and affection to those closest to us. Whether they be romantic partners, friends, or family members.
- Strengthening Relationships: The holiday can bring couples and loved ones closer together. Strengthening their relationships and creating lasting memories.
- Boosts the Economy: Valentine’s Day is a major event for the retail and advertising industries. And helps boost the economy by driving sales of flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and other gifts.
- Raises Awareness for Self-Care: For some people, Valentine’s Day is also a day to focus on self-care and self-love. Encouraging people to take care of themselves and prioritise their well-being.
Cons of Valentine’s Day:
- Pressure to Spend Money: The holiday can become overly commercialised. With people feeling pressure to spend money on gifts and special activities to express their love and affection.
- Singles’ Awareness Day: For those who are single, Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of their solo status. And can bring feelings of loneliness and sadness.
- High Expectations: The holiday can create high expectations for couples. Leading to disappointment if it does not meet their expectations.
- Exclusion of Non-Romantic Relationships: Valentine’s Day can be focused primarily on romantic relationships. Leading to the exclusion of other important relationships such as those with friends and family members.
Overall, Valentine’s Day is a historically rich day. It has both positive and negative aspects for average people. And it is up to individuals to determine how they want to celebrate the holiday and what it means to them. Whether it’s through gifts or special activities. Or simply spending time with loved ones. The holiday can be a time to celebrate love and affection. But it is important to remember that the true value of relationships lies in the quality of the connections we have. Not just on one day of the year.