Valentine is around the corner and the media has already begun advertising their products. Stamping in our heads ideas of how love should be celebrated; chocolate, roses and dinner date is a must. It used to be that everything must be in red but not anymore.
Whether you decide to celebrate or not, here is a brief history of Valentine’s Day: -
It originated from the pagan customs between the 3rd and 4th Century B.C. when the Festivals of Purification were celebrated in Ancient Rome between February 13 and February 18. This was also the time of a Fertility Festival which celebrated a young man's rite of passage and involved animal sacrifices and fertility rituals. During the celebrations the priests would sacrifice a dog and a goat, smearing the animal blood onto the foreheads of two virgin youths of noble birth who, clad only in a goatskin thong.
The names of willing young women were placed into a box or urn and drawn
by lot by every young, unmarried man. The youths and maidens who were matched would then be considered partners during the course of the coming year, which began in March. Such matches were purely for sexual gratification but was not unusual for the pairings to eventually culminate in marriage.
Select these links to read more on the origins of Valentine’s day and how it was integrated into Christianity.
These days we know Valentine's day is lovers' day but the celebrations are so commercialized and at the end of the day, the essence of that special day is lost because it eventually goes down to ‘the expensive the chocolate and roses or any gift you bought for me the more loved I feel’.
People are being directed towards the idea that you don’t necessarily have to celebrate with the man you love, you can celebrate it with anyone special in your life; could be your mother, sister or friends. The more the people celebrate Valentine’s Day the more money the business people make.
Growing up, I did not understand how it is that a rose especially red one is a symbol of love. I had problems comprehending how all the love someone feels for me is contained in the roses? But still I pretended I’m really feeling it and that the person has taken all the measures a woman expects from a man to show their love, and I always longed to receive that rose. I still don’t get it; I think it has to do with the fact that I was born and grew up in Africa. But I know for sure that if you want to show your love to someone special then you just open your heart and let them in, let them see through, let them feel it, no chocolate or roses can do that.
So don’t feel bad or left out if you do not get to celebrate valentine this year, the years before or to come. Set your date to celebrate love, or even better just let it happen spontaneously!