What is Valentine Day?
Valentine’s Day is not a localized festival to any country or region. It marks the universal celebration of love. It in an international festival celebrated worldwide. Valentine’s Day, in actual terms, marks the death anniversary of Saint Valentine. It is celebrated throughout the world on the 14th of February every year.
In many foreign countries, this day is of national importance and the day is in fact declared a national holiday when most of the offices, schools and colleges will not work. This practice is not observed in India as a festival of national importance nor is it declared a holiday.
Practices differ from country to country and in most of the English nations the day marks some serious celebrations altogether.
Valentine’s Day 2019 – 14 February
Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on Thursday, the 14th of February, 2019 worldwide. The day will mark endless visits by youth to florists and gift stores to specially gift their loved ones.
The first ones in the list to receive lots of goodies on this day include boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives and those who are still planning to propose to their crushes.
The day will be filled with rose scents at shops, beautifully decorated roses at every corner of big cities, love balloons, love themed accessories, chocolates, cakes, pastries and other goodies.
Those who are still single and not yet ready to mingle will be able to draw some inspiration out of the romantically inclined couples hanging out in parks and may choose to find someone special for themselves as well.
But there is nothing to worry much. As they say, even if you do not have a girlfriend or a boyfriend in your life, you can still celebrate Valentine’s Day.
You can shower love on your family. You can bring home goodies and surprise your family. After all, love does not mean expressing it to your girl or boy friend alone. Love is to be shared with all those who care for you, all those who love you, think of you and pray for your well being.
So, the day will be filled with love for the loved ones. A day to feast on; look forward to receiving hampers and gifts from those who care. May be you will plan to take your spouse out for dinner, help her in her daily chores or buy a nice pair of sneakers that your husband would love to have.
Valentine’s Day History
Universally, in the recent decades, the day is more appropriately celebrated as lovers’ day. Even in our country, the celebrations are limited to the celebration of love only amongst lovers. But universally, the day has larger appeal.
The celebration marks universal love. Love is not limited to the seamless affection between lovers alone. Love in the broader sense means love towards parents, grandparents, elders, relatives, siblings, spouses, friends and well wishers. In general, it is the celebration of love and love here has many beautiful forms.
In popular beliefs, Saint Valentine is not just one saint, but he was believed to be amongst 14 saints. These saints actually sacrificed their lives for the love they had towards their land.
They had great attachment towards the land they belonged to. In return to the love for the land, they expressed it in terms of sacrifice and brought it out in the open and thus laid down their lives.
In some other cultures that follow Roman traditions, the belief is totally opposite of the previous belief. Instead of following the 14 saint norm, which is quite a popular belief, this goes against it.
They believe Saint Valentine was a single saint among the 14 saints. It was not that all the 14 saints were buried on this day. It was actually Saint Valentine who was buried among the 14 saints for he loved his land so much that he sacrificed his life for it.
With times, the celebrations have taken on different values and have been celebrated in different hues and forms. The most popular culture that celebrates love and is today popularly called the Valentine’s Day.
But in many English countries, the religion of celebrating the death anniversary of Saint Valentine has been retained, so much so, that his sacrifice for his land is celebrated with much grandeur.
His renunciation is given special importance and people prepare different kinds of feasts on this day. They indulge in some very nice brunches on the day, as it is a holiday in many parts of the world and give them a feeling of relaxation and live with their family.
Valentine’s Day Meaning
As time passed, the ways of celebrating love became totally different, and not the one that saint Valentine had renunciated for the love of his land. The love between man and woman is given primary importance on this day and this is exactly the love that is celebrated.
The love and affection a man has for a woman, is to be proposed to the lady and in return, the woman should express her feelings in acceptance of the man’s love.
However, people with a broader sense and approach towards love, actually explain that the day means much more to them. They love the people around them. For them, this is a day of giving. A day of sharing, caring and expressing love for each other in a society.
A day of strengthening bonds between each other. A day of bringing out harmonious relationships between each other, the day of forging and strengthening relationships with one another in the society we live.
The day marks love and care for our pets, for the strays that lie unattended on streets, love for animals, providing them food, shelter, making them feel good. The day also means caring for the aged and elderly. The day to take off from one’s work and spend time with loved ones.
Caring for parents, spending time with them, making them feel special, offering them gifts and bringing a smile on their faces. Spending time with kids, listening to what they have to say, sharing good things with them, taking them for a walk, giving them good lessons for life.
It could also mean spending time with friends and extended family and cherishing on many past memories that one can never forget in a lifetime. Spending time with your spouse, giving him/her all the attention he/she deserves on the special day, surprising him/ her with gifts etc.
Valentine’s Day Celebration
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many ways around the world. Worldwide, it is quite popular to celebrate valentine day with the one you love. But people also popularly believe that if you do not have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, then you are sure to find one this day.
Or it can be put in other words too. You can always propose to your girlfriend or boyfriend on this day and find new love and sparks flying on this beautiful day.
For the ones who are already sailing in the boat of love, here’s a day filled with lot of love and affection. Sending roses, taking your loved ones out on a candle-light dinner, surprise gifts, presents, greetings, love letters, messages, openly proclaiming your love, public display of affection etc are part of the day’s celebrations. We can find almost every shop decked up with heart shaped balloons made of red color.
At many places, red is the color code on the day as red is the color that is closely associated with love. So, displaying and decorating shops in the most attractive way possible, creating hues of red everywhere are important part of the celebration. In many colleges, students choose to come dressed up in red colored attires.
Some colleges which are open-minded and accept the day as part of many other celebrations create music and dance events for their students. They help their students to celebrate the day by soaking themselves in music filled with love themes.
The colleges may not intend to spin love stories on their campus, but they just create a light environment for their students to take some time away from their studies and enjoy the company of their friends.
Valentine’s Day Facts
Here are some uncommon facts that we normally do not know about Valentine’s Day:
- There are just too many stories about Valentine’s Day’s origin.
- Some put the theory as the Roman emperors unwanting their men to marry and settle down in life. But not considering their orders, it is said that Saint Valentine married many women in his life to which he was put behind bars and his life taken away by them.
- Another theory places that among the popular 14 saints of Rome of the ancient times, Sir Valentine included among them, and all the 14 saints sacrificed their lives for the love of their land.
- Another theory suggests that only Sir Valentine among the 14 saints laid down his life in return for the mass love towards his country.
- Almost 1 billion Valentine’s Day card sales are recorded globally around the 14th of February every year.
- In Finland, people celebrate Valentines’ day as ‘Friends day’ where people choose to bond with their loved ones rather than with their loved ones.
- Even pets are considered for valentines’ day themes. They are also gifted and made to feel special on this special day.
- It was only in 1537 that King Henry 7 officially declared February 14th as a national holiday to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
- 35 million heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate will be sold during the season of love.