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The Satya about Valentine’s Day

on February 14, 2012

I don’t know about you but I really have never been a big fan of Valentine’s day.  Maybe is has to do with the fact that a boyfriend many, many years ago decided that Valentine’s Day would be a good day to break up with me.  Or maybe it  is because you get your hopes up that that special someone will surprise you with flowers or chocolate and when they don’t you feel so disappointed.  In both of these cases what you (I) ended up feeling was the complete opposite of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to represent… love.

Or is it?  I decided that since I don’t particularly like Valentine’s Day I would do a little research into the subject and find out the history of the day and what it really is all about.  What I found was that piecing together a history of this day was not so easy to do.

I found out was that there were at least two Saint Valentine’s possibly three or maybe even up to as many as seven.  (Wow now that is a great start to research, nothing really concrete there!)  Each of the Saint Valentine’s where martyrs of their time which was around 250-500 AD.  February 14th was named Feast Day of Saint Valentine, Patron Saint of Lovers and Engaged Couples.

Then there is the Pagan Festival of Lupercalia and in Roman times the eve of Lupercalia (February 14th) was used to celebrate Juno, the Queen to all the Roman Gods and goddesses.  Juno was also known as the Goddess to woman and marriage.

But when did we start exchanging “Valentines” and chocolate?  Well English poet Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with making the day associated with romantic love in his poem Parlement of Foules (1382) in the lines

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

Of course after this there are so many poems, songs and literature that reference Valentine’s and love in general.  Including the many versions of Roses are Red, Violets are Blue… What is your favourite reference to love or Valentine’s in music or literature?

By the 15th century lovers had started to exchange gifts of flowers and confectionary as well as sending Valentines to one another.  In the 19th century came the mass productions of Valentines.  And now today it is a booming business for the greeting card industry and chocolate manufacturers.

So there you have it a very short, incomplete, complicated history of a day where we are all forced into expressing our love for our someone special.  I would think that instead of feeling the pressure of the day to express your love that it would make a lot more sense to express that love everyday and not feel as though you have to just because it says so on the calendar. 

But hey, that is just my opinion.  Don’t get me wrong I still wish for that bouquet of my favourite flowers (which are not roses, BTW) to be delivered but if they don’t get delivered then I just pass it off as another day that I got to spend with the people I love and cherish them for it!

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One response to “The Satya about Valentine’s Day

  1. […] of you may remember my post on Valentine’s entitled The Satya about Valentine’s Day.  Using the word Satya was not a mistake.  Satya is truth.  Again you might think well that […]

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