Everybody usually thinks that the 14th of February has always been the lovers’ day, the day in which people in love of other people should (or in some people’s mid, MUST) show their emotions throught special gifts.
But, has it always been the most romantic day of the year?
First of all, WHO’S VALENTINE? A legend says Valentine was a priest who under Emperor Claudius II continued to perform marriages for young lovers, despite of the decision of the Emperor to outlaw marriage for young men. When his actions were discovered, Claudius put him to death. Another one says that an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Oh, by the way, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
HOW DO THEY CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY?
Let’s have a look to the way these countries celebrate this special day.
1) ITALY: Originally, the young and amorous gathered outside in gardens and tree arbors to enjoy poetry readings and music before taking a stroll with their beloved. Today on Valentine’s Day Italians prefer having romantic dinners and exchanging gifts, like chocolate boxes or dozens of red roses.
2) FRANCE: it’s often claimed on Gallic shores that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his life while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Now, the 14th is also considered the best time for a marriage proposal.
3) UNITED KINGDOM: Valentine’s cards are often sent anonymously in the UK, a tradition dating back to Victorian times. So the recipients find out they have secret admirers while the senders satisfy themselves with the knowledge that the ones they admire know they’re admired.
4) SAUDI ARABIA: Perhaps the only country in the world where Valentine’s day is banned. In 2008 Saudi officials told florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine’s Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin as it “encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women”.
5) ESTONIA: Valentine’s Day celebrations in Estonia have their own twist: February 14 is called “Friend’s Day”, so single, lovelorn people don’t feel left out. That means everyone’s a winner thanks to nice presents offered between friends and family members. On this day single people also get the chance to take a ride on a special “love bus” where they can meet others looking for love.
So, there are lots of stories upon the origin of this day, a lot of different ways of celebrating it but what is really matter, in my modest opinion, is that love and affection should be showed every single day, every single moment of our lives, not just in some special occasions. And I am not talking to the lovers, but also to the friends, to the family, to all the people that pass in our lives, changing them and ourselves, influencing our behaviours and our minds, offering us a chance of improving ourselves.
To all the people that make my life so precious and priceless to me, I wish you all a great SAN VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!