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General View on Valentines Day

Posted on : 25th January 2013

Every celebration is representative of a past event or an occurrence which may have happened on the 'date' some years, months or days back. The occasion of Valentines Day on February 14 has a similar association with it. It is understood to have originated as a Christian religious festival honoring a Saint. This is another reason for it being referred to by the name of Saint Valentine's Day or St. Valentines Day. Its origins date back to ancient Rome of 270 AD. It was due to the rebellion and sacrifice of a catholic priest with the same name that this day came to be celebrated. Saint Valentine supported lovers or couples in love by getting them married against the wishes of the then Emperor Claudius.

Day of Romance and Fertility

Some other associations with Valentines Day are related to the spring season. The spring season begins around mid February in most parts of the world. Therefore, this is the time when birds (in the European subcontinent where this festival originated) go out and look for their mates. This is the reason that this day has been chosen for its reference to the mating season of birds and to fertility. Another association of Valentines Day is to some fertility festivals of early European era. Ancient Athenians (people of Greek origin) observed February as the month of Gamelion to celebrate the marriage of Greek Gods - Zeus and Hera, ancient Romans (people who lived in the Roman empire, Rome is the capital of the present day Italy) celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia to honor the Roman Gods of fertility - Lupercus and Faunus.

Present Day Context

The present day context of this festival is as a day that honors love, commitment and promises for a life together. And understandably so, since we as a people hanker after those things that are usually lacking in the world around us. This is a major reason for this craze regarding love and romance. Though, there is a rising trend of 'celebrating love in all its forms', this festival mainly retains its initial relevance to romantic love. It is still known more for its affiliation to romance and sensuousness than for any other kind of bond.

Views on Valentines Day Celebrations

There are conflicting views on the celebration of Valentine's Day. Some people still recognise it as a Christian festival. And thus, do not even acknowledge its presence as an event to be marked in a calender year. The people who are critical of Valentines Day have two reasons to back their approach. One is the distinct religious leanings of this celebration. The other is that some people simply find this celebration silly, frivolous and impractical. Then there are those who are not bothered about the origins of this festival and associate it with rediscovering love and romance. It is to this group of Valentine Day lovers that this day owes its popularity to.

Valentine's Day has also undergone a transformation from a quiet, unassuming observance to a loud commercialized affair. There are different takes on this aspect among the world population. Some people celebrate this day with pomp and gaiety whereas others keep it a private affair. This approach to festivities of Valentines Day depends on two factors, one of which is the cultural and familial influences, the other is the age factor. There is an age and stage for these celebrations, but then some people never lose their innocent approach to love and life.

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