Friday, February 8, 2013

What is Valentine's Day is All About ??

What is Valentine's Day? How should Valentine's Day be celebrated?  No, do we have to celebrate Valentine's Day at all? Who is this Valentine? What's the fuss all about Valentine's Day?  Read on... know all about Valentine's Day here.


Happy Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day comes once an year and reminds people to be romantic in their lives all through the year. Being romantic in life doesn't mean to get physical in romance, mind you !!! It is just to be, to be plain romantic going around and pleasing people, making them happy, bringing smiles on their faces, recreating the ambience of warmth around, charming people with disarming traits. That's the essence and meaning of true Valentine's Day !

How Valentine's Day has Come into Existence
Valentine's Day is the second most celebrated holiday around the world after New Year's Day. It is celebrated as an event in several countries, especially Europe and around the world. Valentine's Day is actually associated with Christian Faith and the Church. People began to celebrate his martyrdom as a Feast Day of Saint Valentine. But why is this Valentine's Day associated with romance and courtship?

Valentine's Life in a Nutshell
Valentine was born as Valentinus somewhere around in the early 200 AD in Rome. He was a devout Christian who lived amidst the brutal persecution of Christians by the then Roman Emperor Claudius II. Valentine was a preacher and clung to his Christian beliefs. He secretly encouraged and performed marriages for Roman soldiers which act was forbidden by the Roman Emperor for soldiers. He helped several Christians to escape persecution. Valentine was later caught, imprisoned and condemned to death. He was finally executed on February 14th in 270 AD as history suggests.

Meantime while in prison, he is supposed to have performed a miracle healing the jailor's daughter of her blindness. The jailor Asterius thought that Valentine was a learned man. So he sent his blind daughter to gain wisdom and knowledge from him. Valentine taught her everything including Jesus Christ. She was impressed and a strong inner urge began to develop to see the world with her eyes and everything that Valentine taught. So the legend goes that Valentine prayed and she received her eyesight. after his execution he attained martyrdom and later Sainthood.

Hi, Happy Valentine's Day !
How come Valentine's Day is celebrated as Day of Romance?
Until it turned out to be a Day of Romance, Valentine's Day was earlier celebrated as the Day of Feast. The first reference for the Day of Romance on Valentine's Day was attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), the renowned poet of the middle-ages, who associated romance in his poems to Valentine's Day. In one of his works "Parlement of Foules" (written in 1382), he writes 'For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.'

Ever since every poet worth his salt seems to have associated Valentine's Day to love, romance, courtship and marriage as well. William Shakespeare (1564 -1616) is not left behind. He too has caught the fancy of Valentine's Day.

Look what he said in his tragic play Hamlet (written around 1600) Act IV, Scene 5 The character was Ophelia.

    To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
    All in the morning betime,
    And I a maid at your window,
    To be your Valentine.
    Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
    And dupp'd the chamber-door;
    Let in the maid, that out a maid
    Never departed more.

Besides poetry it is also believed by many that since Valentine performed secret marriages of the Roman soldiers it was thought it fit to celebrate as a Day of Romance and Courtship on Valentine's Day. That is on 14th Feb, the day of his martyrdom.

But sadly, over the years the connotation of Valentine's Day has changed and the spirit of Valentine's Day was subverted. Going by the history of Valentine, the Valentine's Day should suppose to be celebrated as a Day of Wedding Anniversary by the world in accordance with other major events like New Year's Day.

The Supposed Oldest Valentine Card
The History of First Valentine Greeting
On the eve of his execution, Valentine has reportedly written his first greeting to the jailor's daughter bidding adieu to her signing in the end as "From Your Valentine." This endearing greeting might have also influenced the Valentine's Day to be celebrated as a Day of Romance and Courtship. The expression "From your Valentine" is still used to this day.

Also When Valentine became a martyr; the legend has it that the Jailor's daughter planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Thus today, the almond tree has become a symbolic entity for steadfast love and friendship.

But today, Valentine's Day has come down to a level to attain such notoriety that it is looked down upon by the elders as bad influence on their children.