More to Valentine’s Day than Romance
It is more than Romance
With the February calendar hitting 14, hearts turn pink, dresses turn red roses, texts fly and of course excess sugar consumption. Singles wish they were married and married wish their partner take them to the skies to make love. Some others would say: “fuck ya’all I’m in my bed,” or “I’m just gonna be in movies”. Another set of person would rejoice because it seems to be day fornication wouldn’t be counted as sin. A time to celebrate. Of all these world-views, one thing is prime: Valentine’s Day is more than romance.
The attention on romantic love for Valentine’s Day expunges the love we feel for others and even excludes people who do not feel romantic attraction or who are not in romantic relationships. Should that be so?
One must note that romantic relationships are not the sole of happiness. Friendship occupies a high position than romantic relationships, even though it is deeper. Candice Feiring would, therefore, argue that: “friendships result in high levels of intimacy, companionship, stability and trust”. The love and companions that friends render each other deserve a celebration too and Valentine’s Day is a good time to show that indebtedness.
Who is this St. Valentine?
While Catholics celebrate the memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius, they also believe that today is the commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Valentine. Valentine, a Catholic Priest of the 3rd century was said to have been beheaded on account of protecting love between couples. Some legends are of the view that served as the Episcopal of Terni, Italy, and he healed the sick. Most remarkable of his healings was that of the daughter of the warden where he was incarcerated. He healed her of her blindness.
Others are of the view that he was condemned to death on the grounds of attempting to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity. A more popular version holds that he was remanded in prison because he was caught surreptitiously performing marriages, flouting a ban on marriage that had been enforced by the Emperor as a solution to a military recruitment crunch.
St. Valentine’s feast
Some authors like Noel Lenski hold that Valentine’s feast day’s association with love and fertility may have been culled from the heathen festival of Lupercalia. This feast was commemorated in the ancient Rome between February 13 and 15. During this celebration, a matchmaking raffle that pairs up men and women would be made. Then, men would slap women with the hides of goats and dogs that were sacrificed. This act was thought to make the women fertile. In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I “Christianize” that pagan festival.
St. Valentine’s Day as we know it today
Attention started going to Valentine’s feast in the Middle Ages. Around this time, the notions of courtly love became widely known in Europe. Some person found a way of attributing St. Valentine with romance and love. Famous poets like Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer helped romanticized Valentine in their works.
In February 1477, Margery Brews of Norfolk, England, wrote the following to her fiancé John Paston:
“my right well-beloved Valentine”.
This is considered to be the oldest known Valentine message written in English and is now housed at the British Library. A message such as Margery’s began to appear in several places Valentine’s Day. With the invasion of the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century, mass production of Valentine cards became rampant. Cadbury began to sell heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, other investors found a way of creatively investing on Valentine euphoria and the tradition had continued until today. Millions are spent today in eateries, bars, grocery stores, supermarkets, hotels and all that.
St. Valentine’s Day than Romance
With the developments of the idea of Valentine’s Day, the view that it is a day meant for those in romantic relationships is becoming obsolete. It surely goes beyond romantic relationships. Valentine celebration encompasses the celebration of friendship, of parents and siblings, of teammates, classmates and colleague.
From the love we feel for our family and friends to our profound appreciation for those who make our lives a little easier, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to say “thank you.” Our parents are God’s instrument through which we came to earth. Sometimes, we forget them as grow into adulthood. On a day like Valentine, sending a caring note, a bouquet of love, would not be a bad idea at all. The same love should go to our siblings. A day like this is a moment to appreciate them and all the joy and company they have brought to us,
The same goes with best friends. They cheer up and stand by you when you need that emotional company the most. Valentine’s Day is a moment to express how grateful we are for the times they have celebrated and supported us.
It is also a time to appreciate our neighbours. We could spend a little time with them and gist over life and all that. Time spent together is a way of expressing love too. Our teachers and bosses in workplaces are not left out of the expression of love. A text message or a greeting card can go a long way to make them feel special, and we would be appreciating their presence in our lives by so doing.
Valentine’s Day is a day we have to get back to our first love – God. It’s a day we have to re-evaluate our relationship with our creator, our promises and vows we have made. It is a day of reconciliation with Christ for all our transgressions which have betrayed his love for us. It is when we do all these that we are really celebrating Valentine’s Day as it should be.
Everyone should know that there is more to Valentine’s Day than romance.