Valentine’s Day as it is celebrated today is the sum of ideas from multiple sources. These sources include religion, history, legend, fiction and commercialization. It’s now evolved into what could be described as a commercial ceremony of romance. With solid creative marketing strategies, Saint Valentine’s Day has become an enticing global brand. On February 14 of every year, people in the Western countries and other nations who welcome this culture import do exchange gifts and engage in romantic activities celebrating the Valentine’s Day.
In terms of religion, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. Historically, there were a number of Saints named Valentino during the era of martyrdom. There was the Valentine of Rome, a priest who was martyred in year 269. There was another Valentine of Terni who became bishop of the then Interamna and was martyred in year 273 during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. And so on.
One of the legends recorded a Saint Valentine, the priest of Rome who was incarcerated for aiding persecuted Christians. It is said that the Emperor had a conversation with him trying to get him converted to paganism but he refused and attempted to get the Emperor converted to Christianity instead. Thus he was executed. Prior to his execution, he was alleged to have perform a miracle on his jailers daughter named Julia and other members of his household. The people got converted secretly.
Interestingly, embellishments were added to the legend here and there over the centuries. The popular one being that, on the eve of his execution, Valentine supposedly wrote the first valentine card addressed to his jailer’s daughter and signed "Your Valentine."
Another sweet additive to the legend has it that Valentine supposedly performed secret weddings for Roman soldiers who were prohibited from marriage due to the Emperors belief that married men couldn’t constitute a competent army. In other to remind them of their vows and the love of God, Saint Valentine is said to have given them cut-out heart-shaped emblem.
However, when commercialization set in, it didn’t matter what the true origin of Valentine’s Day could be. All that matters is a story line that inspires the people to show love by giving gifts to loved ones. In fact Japan and South Korea have successfully created a response day, March 14 when men would give up to three times the gifts that ladies give them on February 14. In S. Korea those who didn’t get any gift gather in a Chinese-Korean restaurant to bemoan their single life by eating black noodles. Sales during this period run in several billions in US, UK, Japan, China, Korea, Singapore and others.
Apparently, Lovers Day seems to be the most marketable cliché for Valentine’s Day. Most of those who celebrate it do so because of the romance aspect. It’s a day when unbridled romantic and sexual behaviors occur among the so called lovers. This is the reason why Christians are divided as to whether they should join in celebrating Valentine’s Day or not. Those who feel compelled to join the celebration have to convincingly argue the propriety of setting aside a day to show love to people that matters and even the less privileged. More so, since it is not practicable to express acts of kindness and love to them everyday. However, societies of fundamental Islam do not welcome Valentine Day because it would not be ideal for them to be promoting a culture originated in Christianity.
Gift Items Associated with Valentine’s Day
This include greeting cards, flowers, candies, heart-shaped chocolates and cakes, dinner dates, jewelries, accessories, clothing, lingerie, fragrance, movies, teddy bears and so on. Here is a Good News! Jumia is giving up to 60% discount on gift items you buy within this period. Get cool ideas on gift items for him/her by visiting Jumia online shop NOW!
Above all, we should realize that those who need love most may be those who deserve it least. The best show of love is seldom been romantic after all, for in that you desire emotional reciprocation. How about showing love by giving to someone who could not return your gesture or at least do it anonymously? How about forgiving someone who hurts you badly? How about spreading the love and kindness of God, just because…He loves us so much that He gave and gave and gave until there was nothing more to give. Then He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus for the salvation of everyone in the world who believes in Him!
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