Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14, is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate those we love – to reach out to the one we love – to make it a festival of romance and affection. While some people may think, Valentine’s Day is just another commercial holiday for flower and candy shops, Valentine’s Day has deeper roots and does reach in the silent recesses of a human heart.
It all started in the heart of St. Valentine. Valentine lived around 270, in the midst of the bloody persecution of the Christians. He was martyred by Emperor Claudius II in ancient Rome. Saint Valentine died as a Roman martyr priest. The saga has it that the first “Valentine’s Day” gift was actually sent by the Saint himself to the daughter of his jailer, to whom he felt a deep bond of love.
Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. The 14th of February is probably a remnant from a period when a pagan festival occurred around that date. It was a day of joyful celebration, embracing the beginning work in the vineyards and on the fields after the long winter months. Valentine’s Day as a day of celebrating love also stems from the belief that this is the day when birds begin their mating.
The Christian church adapted this tradition and chose February 14 as the day to honor Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine is now considered the patron of lovers and the helper of those unhappily in love.
Valentine’s Day in the middle of the eighteenth century is summed up in this verse printed in Poor Robin’s Almanac in 1757:
“This month bright Phoebus enters Pisces, The maids will have good store of kisses, For always when the fun comes there, Valentine’s Day is drawing near, And both the men and maids incline To chuse them each a Valentine; And if a man gets one he loves, He gives her first a pair of gloves; And, by the way, remember this, To seal the favour with a kiss.”
Although no longer a day of honor for Saint Valentine in the Christian calendar – Valentine was dropped from the liturgical calendar in 1969 – Valentine’s Day still inspires lovers to the present day to give kind acts of love to one another.
There are several ways to show ones love and appreciation on Valentine’s Day:
Valentine’s Day Cards are a popular way to show affection. There are Valentine’s Day cards with wise or witty rhymes, open or supple declaration of love, beautiful flower arrangements or cuddly teddy bears. There is something of every taste.
Valentine’s Day Recipes are often special concoctions made with love and creativity to help celebrate Valentine’s Day. After all, doesn’t love go through the stomach! Aromatic taste, lovely decoration, romantic candle light – all helps together to make for an enchanting Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Flowers delight every loving heart. Flowers are among the most prominent symbols of love. They make the partner feel appreciated and valued. Valentine’s Day flowers may well be the most important flowers you send all year. Flowers speak to the heart through their beauty, their simple elegance, their uplifting scent and long lasting aroma. When words fail, say it with flowers! Flowers convey your love and care.
A Gift Basket for Valentine’s Day is another special and personal gift idea, filled with things your partner loves: a precious aftershave or perfume; a wellness gift like a relaxing massage; a Candle-Light-Dinner for two in the favorite restaurant; or Mon Cheri in a heart-shaped gift box.
Or give your loved one an extravagant Valentine’s Day gift – maybe a symbolic tree of the rain forest with certificate, or a bottle of balsam fir essential oil to uplift the heart.
There are many ways to help celebrate Valentine’s Day. Any sign of love and care, no matter how big or small, will bring the message of love from one heart to another. Love flows from the lover to the beloved and back again to close a circle, strengthening the bond of friendship, love and marriage. Valentine’s Day is truly a day for sweethearts. It is an old tradition that had its beginning with Saint Valentine’s gift of love. This gift of love keeps on giving throughout the history of mankind for another thousand years to come. Nothing else matters but love.