Love means different things to everyone. It is in this same spirit that lovebirds (or not) react to the coming of Valentine’s Day every year.
So much has been said about the history of Valentine’s Day, a.k.a. Val’s Day; so much is however not known for certain except the fact that it is a day which commemorates the passing of St. Valentine – the patron saint of love.
There are legends which suggest that Valentine’s Day was year-marked the rank of commemoration in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion because of its historical significance to the freedom which love should be founded upon. The Feast day of Saint Valentine is also a given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church. Feast day of Saint Valentine thus gradually evolved from the Church into Valentine’s Day which celebrated love and affection by people of all backgrounds.
Some legends also have it that Valentine’s Day gained so much significance because Emperor Claudius II of Ancient Rome executed two men named Valentine on February 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom marked a day which became honored by the Catholic Church as the St. Valentine’s Day. And particularly from 18th-century England, the commemoration has endured and evolved into an occasion in which lovers express their love for each other with symbolic items or gestures.
Chaucer and Shakespeare writing so much about love and romanticizing Valentine’s Day or the concept of love altogether in their works also helped Valentine’s Day to gain more popularity in Britain, Europe, and even other continents in the world. Handmade paper cards became go-to gifts as well as an expectation of a show of love in the Middle Ages. Valentine’s Day has thus helped to popularize and sustain the day as a major culture around the world and an entire industry on its own.
Celebrating the day of love
And as the celebration of Valentine’s Day go on across different cultures and spheres of life adopting and localizing it to suit their ideal; many will break the bank buying jewelry, cards, flowers, bags, and wristwatches for their beloved. Others celebrate Val’s Day by being particularly aware of their Singlehood or absence of romance in their lonely life.
On 14th February every year, lovebirds, uninhibitedly exhibit romance by dining, wining, bringing on gifts. Others take the opportunity of Val’s Day to celebrate and appreciate the people who have done them unimaginable favours. There was a lady who told the tale of how her stepfather took her and her two other siblings on a surprise Valentine’s Date with their widowed mother and how she cherishes that moment even today. Some go out of their way on Valentine’s Day to visit prisons and motherless baby’s homes bearing gifts. Some offer themselves as a shoulder to cry on for those who are in need of support or something to lean on. Valentine’s Day generally has been and continues to be a day not to be selfish, but to instead be altruistic.
It is thus established now that people interpret love in diverse ways and move to show it in the same way they have interpreted it. Afterall, there are different kinds of love ranging from divine love, agape love, romantic love to platonic love, and each of them bearing its own characteristic trait.
In a world filled with so much suppressed hate swimming freely in the tide of love, it is very much welcome to have a day to remind one another, our respective personalities and the whole of humanity that loving people is a desirable trait to celebrate and mark with all the symbols within human reach.
Featured image source: History