Valentines Day which can also be known as Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentines Day is an annual tradition celebrated on the 14th February each year. Couples will come together to celebrate their journey so far with each other and look ahead to the future and all of their plans for different adventures together. They buy or create gifts for each other as a token of their love for one another and is considered a very important day for people in relationships.
So, where has it come from? It originated from a Roman Festival which they called Lupercalia which they held every year in mid-February to celebrate start of spring time. As part of these annual celebrations, boys would put all girls names in a box and pick out at random a girls name for which whoever picked would become boyfriend and girlfriend with each other and potentially even go all the way and get married. As this tradition gradually grew and grew, the church wanted to incorporate it into a Christian tradition to celebrate St Valentine, who was a Roman Saint. In the years that followed, people continued with this tradition and St Valentines name grew in popularity. People used his name to represent their feelings for the people they loved in their lives, especially their relationship partner.
As it has evolved over time, Valentines Day is now celebrated in many different ways in different cultures all around the world. Starting in Argentina, they celebrate this tradition by calling it the ‘Week of Sweetness’. However, a big cultural change here is that they celebrate theirs during July and not February like the majority of us. Here they offer their loved ones chocolates and sweets as a gesture of appreciation for each other.
On the contrast, in the Philippines they celebrate Valentines Day with nationwide gala events where young couples often get married on February 14th. They are seen as a form of public service as they get sponsored by the government in order so that couples can make the day as special as they possibly can each year. Families often all come together to celebrate this and is widespread seen as one of the most important days in the calendar for Filipinos.
Another different tradition for how to celebrate Valentines Day occurs in Bulgaria. Here it is called San Trifon Zartan which translates to the ‘Day of Winemakers’. Here, couples will sit down together during the day and share a bottle of wine together as their priority and main way of showing one another’s appreciation for each other. The wine is often made locally within Bulgaria as this is vital in their tradition.
Valentine’s Day has developed into a time of year that is of great significance in the life of many people. As we can see Valentines Day is celebrated in many different ways and can be done at different times during the year. However, the similarity between them all is the showing of appreciation for your partner and most loved ones which is very special.
Author – George Basnett