Monday, February 13, 2017

What is up with Valentine's Day

Februrary 14 is a date that is anticipated and dreaded by people all over the world every year. 

It is widely recognized as St. Valentine's Day. For weeks prior to this celebrated day we are inundated with advertising that tells us that, if we are a man, we need to get shopping. Flowers, diamonds, chocolate strawberries, and pajamas (sexy pajamas) are de rigueur. If you, as a man, are already married then your sweet heart requires a ring with two diamonds. For some reason you don't see advertising providing similar suggestions to women about what their male sweet heart desires.

But what is the deal with Saint Valentine? Why all these gifts? Going to wikipedia there is one thing that is clear. The mythology does indicate that this date is actually based on a real person but other than the stories vary. Research into the origin of Valentine's Day seems to meet up with some concensus with Geoffrey Chaucer.

"Oruch charges that the traditions associated with "Valentine's Day", documented in Geoffrey Chaucer's Parlement of Foules and set in the fictional context of an old tradition, did not exist before Chaucer. He argues that the speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler's Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars." (Wikipedia)

The name "Valentine" comes from the name Valens which means Strong, Healthy, Love. 

This name was most popular in the United States around 1925 but then lost popularity although it is still considered common.  According to the website Accordingtothename.com  95900 people around the world have this name.


So what is up with Valentine's Day? Basically, I have interpreted all of this to mean that Valentine's Day is a great day to let the people in your life that mean anything to you that you love, adore, and appreciate them. Celebrate this day in whatever way you want and build your own mythology. Traditions are good for relationships. Make Valentine's Day your day. Whatever that means to you. Celebrate love, health, and strength in your life no matter who you are celebrating with (even if that is just yourself).

And if you are determined to be depressed on Valentines Day then pick up a copy of Chaucer's Parlement of Foules and try to figure that one out.

Happy Valentines Day!