I can’t believe valentine’s day is almost here. Am I excited? No, not really. Is that due to being single? I don’t think so, I think that excitement left me during my twenties. I believe love should be shown all year round not just on this specific day and I do not mean receiving cards and gifts every day. Love is about the little things not the big gestures and expensive gifts.
Many think and complain that valentine’s day is a money making scheme and yes I agree but one could also argue Christmas and Easter is the same. It is lovely to have this one day, sure, but imagine all the disappointments that go with it. ‘My boyfriend forgot’ or ‘he failed to book the restaurant’ or ‘all he gave me was a card’ these are typical complaints that I have heard over the last few decades. Ladies!!!! Why should he be the one to do everything? Love works both ways so why do many women typically see Valentine’s Day as the man’s duty to express his love for the woman in his life.
Have you ever wondered how this day became Valentine’s Day? I have and until now never really looked into it. Well! History does not provide us with a clear answer to this question but this is what I discovered:
Many people believe that it all started during the times of the pre-Roman empire. Now wait for it…….. goats and dogs were sacrificed at an altar as an offering. Then people were covered in the blood, which was then cleaned off with wool soaked in milk. Oh, it gets better, then they feasted on the animals and once their tummies were full, they took the skins of these poor animals and ran around naked while whipping people with them. Classy!!!!
Believe it or not? It even gets better than that. They then had what I can only describe as a lottery; during the festival, the men picked names of women out of a jar and copulated with them throughout the remainder of the festival. Seriously people!!!
You will be happy to here, it doesn’t stop there, and then came the Catholic Church, do I hear the applauds? Who clearly were not into the whole sacrificing of animals, bathing in blood, running around in your birthday suit and the sex thing, so Pope Gelasius decided in his wisdom to start a new holiday, paganism had to go!!!
He was hoping to make people forget or at the very least and I quote “Stop smackin’ bitches with dead animals“ Now, this is where it becomes a little more complicated. There were two men named Valentine who were killed, I believe a year apart, and died as martyrs. The Roman emperor at the time was executing so many Christians the chances were pretty good that the Pope could use two men called Valentine and thus outlawed the ”smackin’ bitches with dead animals” actually called the festival of Lupercalia. It then became known as St Valentine’s Day.
A very quick background on the two Valentine men. The first was a priest and he was executed for conducting marriages between Christians and then you have another story that the second was executed for conducting marriages between soldiers and their intended spouses as Emperor Claudius II felt that men made better soldiers when they were single. The truth, so many men named Valentine existed, I think even a Pope was named Valentine. In fact, many believe it was based on one man. What is the true story? Who knows? The Catholic Church simply chose this man turned him into a saint and voila!!! St Valentine’s Day came about to eventually smack us in the face and indeed make a whole in our pockets.
In the middle ages the Normans continued the pagan tradition calling it, Galatin’s Day, as they still wanted to get their s**t on. Nice!!! I guess they didn’t want to give up the whole orgy thing.
Finally, the day evolved into romantic love.
The first known written romantic words were used by King Richard II’s engagement to Anne of Bohemia. Chaucer wrote the poem and I have translated an extract.
For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.
This is when Valentine’s Day became associated with love. Now, if you read the extract from the poem above, it was believed by many that the birds mating season was around February 14th. Who knew!!!! They were not far wrong though. I guess mating was associated with love.
There are also more examples of love letters sent during this time, which I will not go into, who needs another history lesson?
So, what can I say? I bet you will never see Valentine’s Day the same way again.
Even as I write this, mental pictures of nakedness, whippings with animal skins and sex are polluting my mind. I am trying very hard to include the presenting of flowers and chocolates and I have to say, it really does not fit the scene.
Therefore, when you think chocolates, flowers and that romantic meal out, try to forget the whipping, the blood, the martyrdom and the sex. Okay, okay you can remember the sex with the one you love only!!! Remember people it is not a lottery.
All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day can however be a romantic time of year, if we forget the commercialism and ignore the whole orgy thing. Valentine’s Day should be every day of the year and not just on the 14th February. This does not entail spending money. It really is the little things that you do for each other, expressions of love can simply be a kind word or a kiss and a cuddle and if your partner does not appreciate these little gestures and expects you to spend money, then I’m sorry to say people!!! You’re with the wrong person.
Love is not about money and I for one prefer a little kind gesture every day to an expensive gift once a year and then forgotten about for the remainder of the year.
However, the whole idea of Valentine’s Day is to dedicate that one day a year that reminds us of love and romance. It reminds us how to show affection to the one we love and hopefully, that is remembered throughout the year.
Happy Valentine’s Day