Celebrate Love Not The Valentine’s Day: True Story Behind The Day Of Love
Love is in the air! Roses, heart shaped balloons, chocolates, wine and gifts. Mushy songs in the background with happy breeze flowing, to compliment the day.
There’s so much love, I might end up choked with the deluge. There you go! Your love radar has tipped to the red point. And, you might be thinking that I belong to the brigade of cynics who simply loathe the day to grab attention.
Let me clarify. No I ain’t a cynic. And, yes I am neither a huge fan of this day.
When I say ‘not a huge fan,’ I don’t mean the commercialisation and gimmicky part. A true Arien that I am, I prefer wearing my heart on my sleeves. So nothing against the hallmark holiday that it has come to be. But ever wondered what is the story behind this day which is promoted as the ultimate day of love.
There are lot of stories floating around about the origin of this day. One of the stories that do not paint a ‘lovey-dovey’ picture, is that of the third century Roman empire. King Claudius, the cruel (yes apparently that was his moniker) prohibited young people from getting married. The logic; Claudius believed married men didn’t make good soldiers.
The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
On the other hand, Christianity was under attack at that time. Valentine a holy Christian priest who also happened to be pro-marriage, defied the law of the land. He married off couples in love, secretly.
Catholic church recognizes seven sacraments. One of them is marriage and to gather as many followers, Valentine carried out the holy deed of marrying off lovers. This was a great way of showing alignment with the church. Although it was done at the expense of defying the emperor’s orders, which resulted in capital punishment in those times.
Eventually Claudius discovered Valentine’s disobedience and sentenced him to death. Valentine was beaten to death with clubs, and then beheaded on February 14.
Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”
The exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February.” One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.
So you see, there is obscurity as far as the origins of this ‘festival’ is concerned.
But who am I to question the logic behind this day, when it is about love. As I said, I am all about love, but not just for a day.
Celebrate love even when you don’t have to. Cherish the moments you have spend with your loved ones, even when you’re surrounded with well-wishers. Surprise them on a busy day. Shower them with hugs and kisses even at the most ungodly hours. Don’t wait for Valentine’s to express love. Just grab the moment and make it your Valentine moment.