By : Nikki Savage
Ahhhh Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. A day for all romantics. A day we best not forget to acknowledge our sweethearts. Or else. But why?
I was trying to find the origins of Valentine’s Day. Most of what I read had something to do with commemorating the execution of St. Valentine. One referenced the reason for his demise being his marrying Roman soldiers to their sweethearts despite a law forbidding it. I guess that is romantic. Maybe? Oh and after he was killed, Romans marked the occasion by having the men draw names of eligible ladies from a jar and then they wed or something like that. Apparently they continued this tradition for years after his death and it spread to other countries.
Another source stated that Valentine’s Day was created to help Christianize the Romans. The timing of Valentine’s feast day was around the time of a pagan fertility festival, Lupercalia, where the gist was everyone would get naked and ladies that wanted to be mothers were spanked with the hides of the animals sacrificed for this festive occasion. Yeah. This was then followed by a night of general drunken debauchery. The church stepped in and classed it up a bit and called it St. Valentine’s Day for them all to celebrate together. (Kind of like how Easter is named after Eostre, a goddess. But I’ll tell you about that next month.)
Those are the two predominant stories I found told in one way or another. Not so romantic. And neither tie the ends of how we started decorating with angels and hearts. Neither explain why we spend billions of dollars (over $15 billion) on cards, candy, jewelry, flowers and dinner. How these became our go-to expressions of love, I cannot fathom. Unless your special someone really loves cards, jewelry, candy and flowers (I am just assuming everyone loves dinner, no reason to question that), why would these things say “I love you”?
Is this just a brilliant bit of marketing? I’m not sure. But I do know that there never is a bad time to let your people know you love them. Let’s hold onto just that bit of Valentine’s Day. But let your love know in a way that is personally meaningful. Or you can get all Pagan and grab an animal pelt and explain how it is actually more traditional than the heart shaped box of chocolates. Really, it’s whatever floats their boat. That is how you give love.
And while we are talking about sharing the love, don’t forget to give yourself your own share too. You can’t give someone all of your love, if you don’t have it for yourself to give. So even if there is no special someone, or even a want for one, you can still celebrate the day by doing whatever you love. There aren’t any rules here. We don’t even actually know why we celebrate it in the first place!
No matter how it began, it’s here again. So however you spend this Valentine’s Day, whether you celebrate or not, I do hope you know that you are loved. 🙂
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