Valentine’s Day: History, Meaning, Symbol and Facts
|Happy Valentine's Day. Photo: finchannel.com
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What is Valentine's Day?
An annual celebration of romantic love, friendship, and admiration is St. Valentine's Day. On February 14th, people celebrate by sending love and affectionate messages to their partners, relatives, and friends. To express their love for one another, couples spend quality time together and send each other Valentine's Day cards and flowers.
Many nations, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, do not observe Valentine's Day as a public holiday. But this time of year, dining establishments, lodging facilities, and retail malls might be crowded.
The Origin of Valentine's Day
Although the exact origins of Valentine's Day are unknown, many sources suggest that it has its roots in the story of St. Valentine, a Roman priest who was crucified on February 14th, 270 CE. It is unclear how he came to be known as the patron saint of lovers, but one theory holds that the church converted the pagan Lupercalia, an old Roman festival celebrated around the middle of February, to Christianity on St. Valentine's Day.
One of the ancient ceremonies involved the girls' names being placed in a box and then drawn out by the boys. After that, couples would be paired off until the next year. In the hopes that the participant would take inspiration from the saint whose name he drew, the Christian church replaced girls' names with the names of saints. By the sixteenth century, though, names of girls had once more found their way into the box.
Eventually, the accepted way to celebrate Valentine's Day was to send anonymous cards or messages to people you admired. In the middle of the 19th century, Valentine's Day began to gain popularity, first in the US and later in Canada. In England in the 1880s, the first Valentine cards appeared. They were made of satin and lace and adorned with ribbons, flowers, and pictures of birds or cupids.
The Meaning of Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day has served as a commercial holiday, an ancient ritual day, and a religious celebration over the years—even centuries. With everything changing, Valentine's Day can now mean anything you want it to: you can choose to completely forego the festivities, treat yourself to some chocolate or flowers, or use the occasion to show your loved ones—whether they be family, friends, coworkers, or romantic partners—how much you care. Galentine's Day (and Galentine's Day gifts) are a relatively new way to celebrate, as women stock up on Valentine's Day ideas for her and celebrate their love for their closest friends, according to Real Simple. Some people love Valentine's Day, and some people just love to hate it.
There are no rules anymore, so if you're struggling to come up with something to do on Valentine's Day, just remember that self-love is the ultimate way to celebrate this day of love. Other wonderful ways to celebrate include going out to a nice meal, cooking a fancy meal at home, throwing a party, or going to the movies. If you're celebrating with a romantic partner, just make sure you're on the same page to avoid disappointments or hurt feelings.
What do people do?
Valentine's Day is widely observed worldwide, with many people expressing their gratitude to those they love or cherish. Some choose this day to pop the question or tie the knot, while others take their loved ones out for a special meal at a restaurant. On Valentine's Day, a lot of people gift cards, chocolates, jewelry, or flowers—roses, in particular—to their significant others.
In certain social circles and cultures, it's also a time to honor friends. For instance, Valentine's Day is known as "Friend's Day" in Finland, where the emphasis is more on remembering all of one's friends than on romance. In Guatemala, February 1st is observed as the Day of Love and Friendship. It is a time for many to express their gratitude to their friends, much like Valentine's Day customs and traditions in nations like the United States.
Valentine's Day Symbols
People began sending love notes and eventually evolved the habit to include sending heartfelt cards. These lovely cards were handcrafted and uniquely created by the sender to express how much they loved the recipient. Sentimental poetry praising the recipient's beauty and depth of love was typically found inside cards.
Cards for Saint Valentine's Day were embellished with lace and ribbon and featured images of hearts, flowers, and cupid. These images are still used today to symbolize love and are recognized all over the world.
Valentine's Day Suggested Ideas
To make an unforgettable Valentine's day for your beloved, you can do some suggestions below!
Make your own card
Not only is making your own personalized card a thoughtful gesture, but it's also how it was done in the past. You can also include a sentimental poem, which you can write yourself or take from one of the great romantic poets like Yeats, Browning, or Shakespeare.
Plan a proposal to remember
Propose to them unexpectedly to take your love to the next level. There is no better day than Valentine's Day to create memories that will last a lifetime with your partner! Plan a special meal or holiday, write a message in rose petals and candles, or go back to where you first met, depending on what makes the two of you happy. Plan your loved one's ideal proposal and include your family and friends to share in this unique moment.
Create lasting memories
Create a photo album of your time spent together to extend the value of your Valentine's Day gift past February 14. This can be used for an anniversary, a rainy day inside, or a trip down memory lane at a later time. Mention dates you've gone on, places you've explored together, and important relationship turning points.
Who Is Cupid?
Valentine's Day cards frequently feature a nude cherub named Cupid shooting love arrows at gullible lovers. However, the Greek god of love, Eros, is the ancestor of the Roman god Cupid. There are differing stories about his birth: some claim he is the son of Nyx and Erebus, others of Aphrodite and Ares, and yet others that he is the son of Zeus and Aphrodite (who would have been his grandfather and father).
Greek Archaic poets described Eros as a beautiful immortal who toyed with the emotions of men and gods, sowing aversion with leaden arrows and inciting love with golden ones. He wasn't depicted as the naughty, overweight child he'd grown into on Valentine's Day cards until the Hellenistic era.
Quotes of Valentine's Day
"I've always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be." - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
"It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together." - Sleepless in Seattle
"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so that I never have to live without you" - A.A.Milne
"I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I'm sorry it took so long for me to catch up. I just got stuck" - Silver Linings Playbook
"And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while, 'cause you're amazing, just the way you are." - Bruno Mars (Just The Way You Are)
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." - Dr. Seuss
"The single, most extraordinary thing I've ever done with my life is fall in love with you." - Beth Pearson (This is Us)
"You are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning." - Me Before You
"It's like, at that moment the whole universe existed just to bring us together." - Serendipity
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." - Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
"I will love you my whole life. You and no other." - Braveheart
"Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever... and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you." - Meet Joe Black
"I hope you don't mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is while you're in the world." - Elton John (Your Song)
"My heart is, and always will be, yours." - Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
When is Valentine's Day 2021?
Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day on February 14. Even though we believe that love should be spread and celebrated every day, we don’t always remember to do that. So on this dedicated day, go above and beyond in expressing your love for family, friends, and of course, your significant other.
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