Love is a powerful and universal emotion associated with a range of emotions revolving around affection, attraction, and attachment. February 14th, every year is a day devoted to the celebration of love in all its forms - be it romantic, filial, platonic, or friendly and is famously called Valentine's Day all over the world.
Though Valentine's Day celebration has evolved over the years, taking on a different color, flavor and fervor, yet what is still sacrosanct is the overpowering emotion of love behind the day. It is a day when promises of love are made or renewed amid the backdrop of fun and frolic. The symbol of love is written on the wall for all to see - the outline of a heart with a picture of Cupid engraved on it.
AdvertisementThe word 'Valentine' is synonymous with love. Yet, how many of us actually know the history of this day?
History of St.Valentine is as mysterious as the famous emotion associated with the day. Legend has it, that St.Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. It is believed that Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry during this time, as he felt that single men made dedicated soldiers. It is believed that Valentine saw gross injustice with such a move, and began to perform clandestine marriages. This enraged Claudius and Valentine was sentenced to death.
Other stories about the history of Valentine's Day suggest that Valentine may have been put to death while assisting Christians escape from Roman prisons. Another popular legend has it that during Valentine's days in prison, he had sent a greeting to a young girl, thought to be the jailor's daughter, who offered him companionship during the tough times. The famous expression, 'From your Valentine,' may have begun in the letter written by Valentine himself to this young girl.
Love - In all Relationships
It is not just a day of romance but an opportune time to raise a toast to love in all its forms -that is how Valentine's Day has evolved over the years. On this day, tokens of love - gifts, flowers and cards are exchanged between lovers, spouses, siblings , parents and children, friends and just about anybody as an expression of love and affection in the relationship.
The Business of Valentine's Day
Along with Cupid who works overtime during Valentine's Day, there are others who wait for this time in the year to turn this 'love'ly occasion into a commercial one. Card makers, chocolate manufacturers, florists and textile brands kickstart into action to make it one of the most profitable times during the year. Shops are seen displaying their wares aand publicity starts almost a month in advance, to rake in the moolah in the name of love.
Hotels and restaurants come out with attractive packages to get lovers to cough up for a magical evening. Catchy teasers often confuse the love struck youngsters, who fall completely for the brilliantly worded advertisements. While it is a time of brisk business and big bucks for some, for the heady rest, it is a time of gifts and gaiety galore.
Display of Love - Pleasure or Pressure?
Nowadays, shopping for Valentine's Day is a big occasion. In fact, as the day is approaching, some lovers experience Valentine's Day pressure - as if the heat is on to buy the best to impress their sweethearts. Many of them experience anxiety and stress as the day approaches, considering the ensuing comparisons and jealousy about Valentine gifts and celebrations. Peer pressure and 'who is doing what' appears to take precedence over genuine feelings. The stress of Valentine's Day is all the more palpable during these present times of recession and shoe string budgets. In a materialistic world, where love is perhaps measured in terms of material gifts, will Valentines actually understand if their lover didn't demonstrate love in a befitting or rather stereotype manner? Whoever said, Love also means understanding, scored a perfect 10! Some simply heave a sigh of relief once the day is over and everything turns normal. Isn't it time the medical parlance adds a new medical condition - Valentine's Day Syndrome - and remedy for its associated anxiety and stress?
No matter what, this is a time to love truly. Pure love is the eternal truth in this transient world. It's a great blessing to love and to be loved and let's cherish the true spirit of love on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day may come and go every year, but only love goes on forever!