So, the big day is looming. For some of you this will mean showering your loved one with gifts, and declaring your undying love. For others the day may pass quietly and without fuss – perhaps just a card? For those that are single you may look upon this day with dread or outright disgust to have everything soppy and sentimental pushed in your face. Or you may take this opportunity to send a little hint to someone you’ve liked for a long time.
Whatever your views are on this day, one thing is clear. The 14th Feb will arrive. And then it will end, and everything will go back to normal a day later. During that time you may have decided to spend copious amounts of money on red roses with a romantic message that reads “Roses are red, violets are blue, wine costs less than dinner for two”. Or you may decide to spend none at all, inwardly wishing that the day would end quickly, and that you didn’t have to be physically sick every time you saw a couple walking past. For me I am a bit of a romantic, and I do want to be shown some sort of declaration of love on that day. No that doesn’t mean I want silly amounts of money spent on me. It’s not about that. It’s about me knowing that I mean something to someone else- ideally my partner! Does he know this? Of course not. Is he meant to? Well of course he is. That’s what makes us women so impossible, and obviously so loveable!
Anyway, I’ve digressed a bit. So where did this day originate from? Who decided that we should celebrate a Valentine’s Day? Why is it called Valentine’s Day? Why do we need to declare our love for someone on a particular date? So many questions. So, I decided to dig a little and see where it lead me……
Ok so can you believe that the very first Valentine’s Day was celebrated by the Romans of all people, back in the year 496, by a festival called Lupercalia in the middle of Feb, which was officially the start of their Spring. During this festival boys would draw names of girls from a box, and be girlfriend and boyfriend during the ceremony, and sometimes get married later. How sweet!
The story behind the name is quite a moving one actually. The day itself is named after a famous saint, St Valentine, who was originally a priest from Rome. Turns out he was a little bit of a rebel actually who didn’t like the fact that Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage, believing that it created bad soldiers. So St Valentine decided to arrange secret marriages, as he thought the whole ban was very unfair. Unfortunately for him Claudius found out and sentenced him to death. I’m guessing he wasn’t all that thrilled about being undermined. Whilst he was in prison, St Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and being a romantic sent her a love letter on the day of his execution, the 14th February.
It was only later on, that the day was turned into a Christian celebration by the Church, in order to remember St Valentine. And then eventually over time people started to use St Valentine’s name to express their feelings.
So my question to you is do you believe in St Valentine’s Day or not, and why? Please feel free to leave your comments at the end of this blog.