Back when I did a part time writing stint in the same company I have first worked for, the first article I ever wrote was for Valentine’s day. I didn’t know much about how to proceed with the article. My marketing editor just gave the parameters of making it informative and interesting. And since I didn’t wish to make it mushier than boxed chocolates or a bunch of roses, I just pushed myself to search for different, basic practices from different parts of the world. And since this said article was rather shelved for delay of online publication, I might as well put it here for people to read.
That mutual understanding of the month of love is much evident in turning the whole town into red, in cards, in roses chosen from the best florist, in reservations at dim-lit restaurants; and so the whole list of options and ideas goes. Valentine’s is that very day for those who seem spectacled by one’s partner’s love to him or her and that share of genuine commitment. Simply, it is for the lovers. It is for those afloat in romance.
This had all begun in Ancient, Historical Rome back in the 3rd or 4th Century when a certain pagan practice of glorification to a wolf god called Lepercus for its natural endowment for the fields and sheep’s flock was turned into a Christian commemoration for St. Valentinus. A more factual account had it that a Christian priest named Valentinus, who was executed for conducting secret weddings for couples after an edict for banning marriages was pushed by the pope, was sanctified. The execution was on the 14th of February, and so this day was declared as Valentinus’ Day. This day then was sensationalized into the time for the lovers as means of protest to the execution and as a celebration of the love.
This day may be universally celebrated; but different countries have their own preferences of celebrating. For instance, in the United States, it is primarily a day for those who share love, family, colleagues, friends, and lovers alike. It is a general day for love. In Germany, it is somewhat requisite to give women white flowers as a form of love’s purity. It is still practiced up to the present. Italians make it more personally felt in singing and poetry reading in parks or patios. But one thing quite unique is the giving of Baci Perugina, chocolate-coated hazelnuts, to women. Brits are like the Americans in including everyone in the celebration. Children sing songs to grown-ups; and they are then given goodies and other gifts in return. Japan considers this day as the “White Day.” Women make homemade chocolates for men as a form of genuine love. They say that store-bought chocolates can be insulting as it would mean less sincerity in love. Korea adapts this Japanese tradition. Women give chocolates to men, and men profess their love to their women in return. There is that sense of reciprocity in this case as compared to Japan. For singles, this day is considered the “Black Day” as those who are not in any relationship gather and eat the Korean black noodles Jajang. The Philippines makes it more dynamic, merging the west and that of the traditional. Filipinos don’t have this day without the roses, chocolates, cards, and other gifts. Women are seen as special entities during this day, being the very goal that men aim at. The traditional “harana” (love serenades) made it still up to this day, however actualized in creative means like in recordings, in playing songs, and in giving of CD’s.
There may be several ways to express love during Valentine’s. There may really be varying understanding of its reason. People may have different preferences in living that day. This day will still be one event that surely will capture the many. It is that without which, a year will never be complete. Its relevance doesn’t lie in the celebratory uproars of media and commercialism, but in the very hearts of the people, lovers and non-lovers alike. It is not merely about the thought of giving or the expense of it; rather it is about what that day is really about.
It is that moment of that love that encompasses and defies, looking back to the deed of the priest Valentinus. It wasn’t merely about that deed. It is mainly that fight and rage of the couples to be bound in love. It was about how much love means to people, and how it makes good in the lives of the many. It is that day where love is proven beyond and strong. Children, families, friends, lonely singles, lovers, engaged, and married all have the same feel for such day. It is not merely intended for the romantic or the in-love, but for those that is transcended with that love.
Valentine’s Day could simply be in the alleys. It could be in sweet goodies bought in food shops. It could also be in comfortably romantic restaurants. But it’s not just all about that. This day is about understanding, embracing, and fully putting into one’s psyche that love that which such day has been brought forth. It is simply about engaging into the idea of love, and that the very thing to do is simply to say “I love you.”