February 14th. Some revere it as a special day to proclaim your love. How did it start? There are various reports of its origins, but here’s the most likely story:
During the time of Roman Emperor Claudius II, a priest named Valentine thought it unfair that the Emperor decreed that no young man should marry his girlfriend, so he could be drafted to war. This priest would marry these young couples in secret ceremonies, because he believed in love. When the emperor found out, he imprisoned Valentine and eventually had him beheaded on February 14th. Later, Pope Gelasius made him a saint and declared February 14th a day to celebrate Valentine.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world, but there are a handful of countries that ban the expressions of love. Other countries do have a designated day, other than or in addition to February 14th to declare or show your love.
One of the most unusual is in Wales where January 25th is the day to celebrate. Men would make intricate wooden spoon carvings to present to their loved one. In South Korea, on February 14th women will try to woo their favorite men with flowers and chocolates; then on March 14th, known as “White Day”, the men will reciprocate and up the stakes with candy, flowers and nice gifts to their intended. Curiously, those without anything to celebrate also have a special day: April 14th, called “Black Day” where singles will mourn their solitary status by eating black or dark foods.
Generally, young kids anxiously prepare shoe boxes and bags with hearts and cartoons, hoping to have them filled with clever cards of friendship and love. Most kids expect some chocolate from their parents and possibly a stuffed animal or toy. Dating couples feel a little extra pressure as some think it’s the perfect time to “pop the question.”
People can get very creative to express their feelings for another. Flowers, day spas, day trips to new places, special dinner in or out, etc. the list is as long as your imagination!
Acknowledging Valentine’s Day can be more than for just one special person: the day just may be a time to say you appreciate someone special in your life.
- “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.” -Quote by Maya Angelou