Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day

The day to show your loved one how much you appreciate and care about them is almost upon us. This is the one day a year in which our streets flood with men holding flowers and chocolates; women’s desks at work are beautifully adorned with arrangements and love messages; and there’s a vibe in the air that tells us we’re aloud, for one day, to be as romantic as we want, no embarrassment at all. 

The history behind Valentine’s Day has been questioned by many through time. Should it be considered a real holiday? Should it not? Where did this tradition come from? Should we stop celebrating it altogether? 

Well, there are different theories when it comes to the origins of Valentine’s Day. None of them have been proven to be based on facts, but we love to dream and believe they were true. For example, a legend that traces it back to the V century tells the story of Valentine, a priest, who was imprisoned for performing secret wedding ceremonies for soldiers. It is said that back then, the Roman Empire had forbidden anyone in the army from getting married, insisting that their entire focus was to be directed towards the war. However, some lucky ones found the way to sneak around the walls of prohibition and, aided by Valentine, they found the way to solidify their love. It is also told that Valentine used to cut heart shaped pieces of parchment and give them to the soldiers as a reminder of the love they had professed. All of this is clearly linked to our modern Valentine’s Day symbolism. However, this and other romantic connotations were not given to Valentine’s Day until the Middle Ages thanks to William Chaucer’s poems. Before then, Valentine’s story was taken more as a tale of sacrifice instead of romance. 

In XVIII-century England, supported by the chain of romance unleashed by Chaucer, Valentine’s Day officially became a day in which couples expressed their love to each other with flowers, cards and candy. It was celebrated with grand festivities by the royal court and its significance continued to spread out and grow throughout the years. Nowadays Valentine’s Day is regarded as an opportunity to celebrate love. And if you can’t celebrate love, then what can you celebrate? So stop by and choose some flowers for your sweetheart. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

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